Should Pakistan Tell US Where to Shove its Aid?

"Aid only postpones the basic solutions to crucial development problems by tentatively ameliorating their manifestations without tackling their root causes. The structural, political, economic, etc. damage that it inflicts upon recipient countries is also enormous.” These words were written in a letter to UN to refuse aid by Finance Minister Berhane Abrehe of Eritrea which is the 7th poorest nation in the world.

Can Pakistan (per capita annual income of $3000) do what Eritrea (per capita annual income of less than $700) has already done with UN aid? Say "No" to foreign aid?

Pakistan Movement for Justice party leader and cricket hero Imran Khan thinks so. Echoing the sentiments of the Eritrean minister, Imran Khan told the BBC recently that "if we don't have aid we will be forced to make reforms and stand on our own feet."

Let's examine in a little more detail the proposition that Pakistan should tell the United States to take its aid and shove it:

1. Only $179.5 million out of $1.51 billion in U.S. civilian aid to Pakistan was actually disbursed in fiscal 2010, according to a report by the United States Government Accountability Office.

2. Even if the entire $1.51 billion had been disbursed, it would account for only $8.39 per person, about 0.28%, a very tiny fraction of Pakistanis' per capita income of $3000 a year.

3. Pakistan ended last fiscal year in June 2011 with a small current account surplus of about half a billion US dollars. It received inflows over $40 billion in the form of export earnings ($25 billion), remittances from Pakistani diaspora ($10 billion), and FDI, FII and other accounts. The actual US aid of just $179.5 million out of over $40 billion in 2010-2011 is a negligible figure.

4. Of the $179.5 million received by Pakistan in 2010, $75 million of the US aid funds were transferred to bolster the Benazir Income Support Program, a social development program run by the Pakistani government. Another $45 million was given to the Higher Education Commission to support "centers of excellence" at Pakistani universities; $19.5 million went to support Pakistan's Fulbright Scholarship program; $23.3 million went to flood relief; $1.2 billion remained unspent.

Although refusing US aid will hurt the anti-poverty efforts, higher education and infrastructure development programs to some extent unless made up by raising greater tax revenues to replace it, it is theoretically possible to say No to the US aid without a big negative short-term impact on Pakistan's economy.

However, Pakistan would be well advised to not seek confrontation with Washington even after refusing US aid. Why? The reason is simply that the United States is the architect and the unquestioned leader of the international order that emerged after the WW II and this system still remains largely intact. Not only is the US currency the main reserve and trade currency of the world, the US also dominates world institutions like the UN and its agencies, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

All foreign aid, regardless of its source, comes with strings attached. And those in Pakistan who think that China, undoubtedly a rapidly rising power, can replace US as a powerful friend in helping Pakistan now are deluding themselves. Today, China's power and influence in the world are not at all comparable to the dominant role of the United States. Chinese currency is neither a trade nor a reserve currency. Chinese themselves depended on the US agreement to be allowed to join the WTO after accepting terms essentially dictated by the United States in a bilateral agreement. Most of China's trade is still with the United States and its European allies. And the Chinese military power does not extend much beyond its region because it, unlike the United States, lacks the means to project it in other parts of the world.

Rather than alienate the United States and risk being subjected to international isolation and crippling sanctions like North Korea (a Chinese ally), Pakistanis must swallow their pride now and choose better ways of becoming more self-reliant in the long run.

Here are some of my recommendations for Pakistanis to move toward greater self-reliance:

1. They must all pay their fair share of taxes to reduce dependence on foreign aid and loans.

2. They must save more, a lot more than the current 10% of GDP, to have more money for investment in the future.

3. They must spend more on education and heath care and human development to develop the workforce for the 21st century.

4. They must invest in the necessary infrastructure in terms of energy, water, sanitation, communications, roads, ports, rail networks, etc, to enable serious industrial and trade development.

5. They must develop industries and offer higher value products and services for exports to earn the US dollars and Euros to buy what they need from the world without getting into debt as the Chinese have done.

No amount of empty rhetoric of the "ghairat brigade" can get Pakistanis to reclaim their pride unless they do the hard work as suggested above.

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Comment by Riaz Haq on June 26, 2012 at 11:16pm

Here's a Dawn story on US AID projects in FATA:

The United States Agency for International Development will construct 200-kilometre roads in South and North Waziristan agencies in addition to undertaking longer term interventions in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s education and health sectors.

Andrew Sisson, the agency’s mission director in Pakistan, told Dawn that the USAID had already constructed over 200km roads in South Waziristan and it was planning construction of additional 200km roads primarily in North Waziristan Agency and some in South Waziristan Agency.

“It (road construction) is an excellent investment in opening the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in terms of economy and business to the rest of the country,” he said.

The US agency, he said, had provided $201 million for roads linking North Waziristan and South Waziristan to the rest of Pakistan. He said that USAID was also planning to provide more resources for roads directly to the Fata Civil Secretariat later this year.

Similarly, the USAID signed an agreement in October last year for disbursing funds for the construction of irrigation network downstream Gomal Zam dam that, he said, would irrigate 120,000 cultivable acres, benefiting thousands of farm families. Some $9 million for construction irrigation network, he said, had been released to the Water and Power Development Authority in December last.

Mr Sisson said that investment in this part of Pakistan (KP and Fata), especially for education, health, infrastructure, community level activities, irrigation and business development, remained ‘a very high priority’ of the US government.

“We are budgeting for the future..we are hopeful that the funds would come after approval by our Congress,” said Mr Sisson, adding that the Obama administration was committed to maintaining high level of aid to Pakistan even during this rocky period (of relationship).

“Despite our relations, our aid levels are high,” he said, adding that his organisation would continue building schools in Fata and KP, which was a very important part of the bilateral relationship.

He said that their assistance to Pakistan was in the interest of the people of both the countries and that it had been achieving great results. The USAID-funded projects, according to him, put 400MW to the grid last year, some 500MW would be added to the system next year, and one million children went to schools constructed by the agency over the past few years.

“We want Pakistan to succeed, to be more stable and have a more prosperous economy,” he said, adding that their interest in Pakistan would continue no matter who was in power in the US.

He said that apart from funding five major interventions in the energy sector the US was looking into making other investments to help Pakistan overcome its energy sector. “We are in discussion with the government for carrying out feasibility studies for Diamer-Bhasha dam,” said the USAID director.

He said that the USAID was also assisting the Fata secretariat and the KP to help build their capabilities. Justifying delays in the execution of infrastructure projects in the KP and Fata, Mr Sisson said “Even in the United States complicated infrastructure projects don’t go on schedule and that’s very true in Pakistan (as well).”

He said that some of the infrastructure projects were being carried out in tough regions where security formed a major impediment to the on time completion of projects.

About corruption-free use of USAID funds, he said that except for two cases in which the USAID Office of Inspector General had collaborated with National Accountability Bureau, a majority of the projects had seen apt and honest use of funds.

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 15, 2012 at 9:35am

Here's a Dawn Op Ed by Sakib Sherani:

As a result of the agreement on reopening Nato’s ground routes, it has been reported that Pakistan will receive around $1.2bn of unpaid arrears pertaining to the Coalition Support Funds (CSF). This money is reimbursement for costs already incurred by Pakistan in military operations in the northwest in support of Nato/Isaf’s Afghanistan campaign, and not assistance.

Nonetheless, it represents a not insignificant potential reduction of the fiscal deficit (by 0.5 per cent of GDP) and the need to borrow by government. More importantly, it has the potential to calm the financial markets that are nervous about depleting forex reserves in the context of large debt repayments due this fiscal year.

However, beyond this the CSF inflow will have a limited effect. To put this money into context, $1.2bn is roughly the equivalent of 0.5 per cent of GDP, 2.5 per cent of Pakistan’s annual foreign exchange earnings and 2.7 per cent of projected imports this year. More importantly, for the benefit of friends who celebrate the arrival of each $1bn of foreign taxpayer money as if it was ‘manna from heaven’, this inflow (or the elusive Kerry-Lugar money for that matter) is the equivalent of a miniscule 2.9 per cent of potential tax revenue that Pakistan can collect — but chooses not to.

In terms of overall US assistance, Pakistan has been a recipient of substantial inflows from the US in fits and starts over the years, with the bulk being in the realm of military aid. In terms of US economic assistance to Pakistan, the defining features since inception appear to have been:

— It has not been enduring, but spasmodic;

— The US has invariably followed a short-sighted, ‘transactional’ approach in its relationship with Pakistan, and continues to do so despite a strong case having been made at the start of the Pakistan-US strategic dialogue for a ‘transformational’ relationship;

— Assistance has peaked in non-democratic set-ups;

— US aid has generally been pro-cyclical, reinforcing upturns in the economy, rather than supporting Pakistan’s economy in a downturn (as currently). As a result, the impact has not been ‘visible’.

— US programmes are mired in bureaucracy, with large ‘lags’ and high transactional costs (to be fair, the latter is pretty much the case with all aid programmes across the board);

— Spending has, until now, either ignored areas deemed high-impact by the Pakistan side (agriculture, water, market access, for example) or, has been spread too thin over a large number of projects. As a result, the impact has been diffused, denying the US visibility for the taxpayer dollars it has spent in Pakistan.

The most potent form of economic assistance the US can provide to Pakistan, one with the greatest externality, is allowing preferential market access to the country’s textile and clothing (T&C) exports. If focused on the right products, such as garments (labour-intensive and value-added), the US intervention has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of additional direct and indirect jobs, carving a powerful urban, educated (and possibly currently unemployed) constituency comprising the country’s youth.

This will also be the ‘lowest cost’ in terms of US taxpayer dollars, since the additional exports from Pakistan will most likely displace existing imports into the US from some other producer.

Strangely, this is proving to be the second hardest legislation to bring to Congress after domestic gun control. Pursued actively by Pakistan since 2004, this request has routinely met the same response: Congress will not sacrifice the interest of its states with a large textiles constituency. Since then, however, Congress has allowed duty-free access for textiles and clothing to large regional blocs in Central America, the Andean states, and a number of African countries....

Comment by Riaz Haq on July 18, 2012 at 10:07am

Here's a report on US civilian economic aid disbursed to Pakistan since 2009:

The United States has disbursed $ 2.8 billion in civilian assistance to Pakistan since the passage of the Kerry-Lugar Berman Bill in 2009, according to the State Department.

“While figures for this fiscal are not yet available, since the passage of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman legislation in October 2009, the US government has disbursed $ 2.8 billion in civilian assistance, including approximately USD 1 billion in emergency humanitarian assistance,” the State Department said in a statement.

The non-humanitarian civilian assistance funds are spent in five priority sectors: energy, economic growth, stabilization of vulnerable areas, education, and health.

In 2011, the US supported construction of 210 kilometers of road in FATA and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, funded the world’s largest Fulbright exchange program, and sponsored initiatives promoting private sector growth and civil society development in Pakistan.

“The US remains committed to a strong, mutually respectful relationship with Pakistan. We consider bilateral US civilian assistance to be an important component of that relationship and believe it can help Pakistan become a more
prosperous, stable, and democratic state, which serves the national interests of both the United States and Pakistan,” the statement said yesterday.

“Civilian assistance to Pakistan has been ongoing throughout the closure of the Nato supply lines and has continued after their opening,” the statement said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 12, 2012 at 9:03am

Here's a PakistanToday story on US aid for education:

MANSEHRA - Over the next two years, USAID will provide $15 million for the construction and rehabilitation of seven Faculties of Education buildings across Pakistan.
More than 2,000 students and 100 faculty members will use these buildings every year, including the recipients of the new ADE and B.Ed. degrees.
The United States reinforced its long-term commitment to advancing education in Pakistan through the groundbreaking for a new, $1.5 million Faculty of Education building at Hazara University in Mansehra.
“This new faculty of education building will go a long way toward helping Pakistan improve the quality of education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa”, this was stated by the Vice Chancellor of Hazara University, Prof. Dr. Syed Skhawat Shah while he led the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday in Hazara University.
While addressing the gathering State Minister for Technical and Professional Education Shahjhan Yousaf said that there is need to concentrate more on education. We have educated and results oriented teachers but don’t have strong education policy. “there is a need to work over it and to introduce good policy to facilitate new generation in their further studies,” he added.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Syed Skhawat Shah awarded degrees to 49 students from the Regional Institute of Teacher Education in Abbottabad who have been awarded Associate Degrees in Education after successfully completing two years of studies. “These two-year degrees were introduced to Pakistan by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) with USAID support, along with a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Education. USAID helped design and introduce these degrees in order to increase the quality of teacher preparation at universities throughout Pakistan,” he added.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Jock Conly congratulated the graduates through a special message saying, “The United States government is deeply committed to helping Pakistan develop strong educational institutions. Together with the Government of Pakistan, the United States is working to improve the quality of education throughout the country.”
Chief of Party for the USAID Pakistan Reconstruction Program (PRP) Tarek Selim said that the faculty of education building being constructed at the Hazara University will have 16000 square feet covered area, having six class rooms, multi-purpose hall for hundred people, learning resource center, two laboratories, a seminar room and ten rooms for faculty.
He said that building will also have twenty postgraduate rooms besides a dean office, administration room and faculty lounge. “This building, to be completed by end of the coming year, will accommodate three hundred students and has been designed to resist earthquakes besides being environmentally sustainable and energy efficient.” Tarek told the journalists.
He said that teachers will also receive continuing education in the new, U.S.-funded facilities that will help train teachers working in some of the nearly 500 schools that the U.S. has helped build in Pakistan since October 2009.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 17, 2012 at 7:04pm

Here's an excerpt of USAID Pakistan director Jock Conly's interview published in PakObserver:

Q: How much amount is being spent in a year on the USAID projects in Pakistan?

A: We are seeing an increase in the amount of expenditure on the USAID projects as several projects are at an advanced stage of completion that require more expenditures. In Financial Year 2013, a huge amount of $800 million would be utilized for the development of the USAID projects in Pakistan. Earlier, the annual quantum of expenditures on the USAID project was less than this amount.

Q: Any new sectors/areas being included in the upcoming projects?

A: We have short-listed five key sectors in the USAID programme that I have mentioned earlier. We select a new project from within these five areas after consulting the stakeholders. Once the new project gets all the mandatory approvals, we start work on it immediately.


For example, the USAID has supported the government to generate 400 MWs of electricity per day that was sufficient for the consumption of 6 million people. We are working on more projects to support the government to generate more electricity.

Energy: Fatal Incidents at the Hyderabad Power Distribution Company Declined by 80% and Non-Fatal remained zero since January 2012 and this surprising but much-needed change is a direct result from the linemen training organized by the USAID Power Distribution Project. The project plans to train a total of 9,000 linemen from all public power distribution companies in such key skills as first aid, pole-top rescue, and modern grounding. In addition to preserving human lives and health, this effort will improve maintenance of the transmission lines. This in turn will reduce power distribution losses that are estimated at 10 percent of all electricity produced.

On October 3, U.S. Consul General Michael Dodman and Sindh Governor Ishrat-ul-Ibad launched cooperation between the USAID Power Distribution Programme and the Karachi Water and Sewage Board. Under this $900,000 initiative, USAID will upgrade 75 old water pump sets to improve Karachi’s water supply and reduce power consumption by up to 1.73 megawatts.

Economic Growth: During the month of October, the Entrepreneurs Project helped 450 women medicinal and aromatic plant collectors in Swat Valley sell more than 12,000 kilograms of medicinal and aromatic Iants. On average, each woman earned $270. Earlier, the project also trained these women to identify and collect plants without damaging their growth.

For the fourth year in a row, the USAID and FAO Balochistan Agriculture Project organized livestock markets in Killa Saifullah, Mastung, Loralai, and Zhob in connection with Eid-ul-Azha. By bringing markets closer to producers, the project reduces the cost to the farmers, increases their bargaining power, and improves their revenues. This year, more than 3,000 farmers participated in the markets from October 9-15.

Recently, USAID-supported Malakand farmers sold 100 tons of approved chip stock potato to the PepsiCo plant in Sundar Industrial Estate, Lahore. The USAID Project is linking small-scale potato producers in Malakand to large-scale buyers, helping them access greater economic rewards.

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 6, 2012 at 9:53pm

Here's a News report on US aid disbursement to non-government entities in Pakistan under Kerry-Lugar Bill:

ISLAMABAD: Around 71 percent of the total amount worth $3.172 billion disbursed by the United States under the Kerry-Lugar-Berman (KLB) Act was off-budget assistance for Pakistan in the last three years, official sources in the Finance Division confirmed to The News. Both Pakistan and the US confirmed that a major chunk of money continued to pour outside the government of Pakistan’s channel.

“The total amount disbursed to Pakistan from October 2009 to September 30, 2012, since the adoption of the KLB legislation, is around $3.2 billion. If you’d like the exact figure, it’s $3.172 billion,” said spokesperson of the US Embassy in an email message.

When contacted, Federal Secretary Economic Affairs Division Javed Iqbal confirmed that so far the United States has disbursed $3.197 billion for development in the last three years. “There are ongoing projects with an estimated cost of $754 million at the moment,” he added. Official data suggests that the on-budget assistance from the US stood around $350 to $375 million per annum – almost the same pattern followed by Washington in the aftermath of 9/11 when Pakistan decided to side by the country in the war against terrorism.


..renowned economist Dr Ashfaque H Khan said that Pakistan received $14.950 billion from US since 2001 till August 1, 2012, of which $9.8 billion was received as Coalition Support Fund (CSF) and the remaining $4.8 billion for economic assistance. On average, cash inflows stood at $437 million per annum in the last 12 years. Against the total losses of $68 billion incurred by Pakistan’s economy, the United States reimbursed just 14 percent or $9.8 billion. However, US spokesperson stated that US assistance to Pakistan has delivered real results for various sectors of the economy.

“US has added over 400 megawatts to the power grid – enough to supply electricity to nearly 900,000 households, or roughly six million people,” she said. In view of the energy sector, key projects funded by the US include power plant renovation at Tarbela dam, modernising generators at Mangla dam, upgrading Guddu, Jamshoro and Muzaffargarh power plants, and building Satpara and Gomal Zam dams.

US funds certain projects that will provide electricity to an estimated two million households in 2013. For the education sector, she added, they were building and renovating 800 schools and providing scholarships to 12,000 students to attend universities in Pakistan. Washington is also helping Pakistan in creating jobs and increasing incomes with programmes that boost agricultural output, build roads, and help entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Furthermore, US has funded the construction and rebuilding of over 650 km of roads in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), while the Peshawar Torkham highway’s reconstruction is underway.

In a statement, US Ambassador Richard Olson said that he was struck by the economic potential Pakistan possessed and the industriousness and vitality of its people. “Washington helped train 14,000 Pakistani farmers to better protect their livestock from diseases,” he said.

“It is also helping Pakistan in building new irrigation canals that will expand the arable land by more than 200,000 acres.”

He further added that US will build more than 1,000 km roads in FATA, KP and Balochistan. “We are also assisting Pakistan in business entrepreneurship,” he maintained. “To promote trade and investment, US is Pakistan’s largest export market. Two way trade between both the countries stood at $6 billion in 2011.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on December 13, 2012 at 10:16pm

Here's a Daily Times story on US support commitment to Pakistan:

US assures Pak of early release of $600 million CSF arrears

* US officials call on Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh * Reaffirm US commitment for provision of $200 million for Diamer-Basha Dam

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The United States on Thursday assured Pakistan of an early release of $600 million Coalition Support Fund (CSF) arrears, increasing OPIC support for projects in Pakistan from $100 million to $1 billion, launch $80 million Pakistan Investment Fund for SMEs in January 2013 and also reaffirmed US commitment for provision of $ 200 million for Diamer-Basha dam.

US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard G Olson and Robin Raphel, senior adviser to special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, called on Finance Minister Hafeez Shaikh in his office. Issues of mutual interest, particularly economic ties between the two countries, were discussed in the meeting. Both the sides expressed their satisfaction over the pace of development in Pak-US economic ties.

Olson and Raphel congratulated the finance minister over his recent successful visit to United States of America and declared that the visit would prove a milestone in strengthening economic bonds between the two countries.

Shaikh informed the US delegation that the overall economic conditions in the country are moving in the right direction. The visiting delegation was informed by the finance minister that despite energy scarcity and security situation, Pakistan’s economy has started showing positive trends. The minister informed the US side that due to the policies of the government, Pakistan is witnessing lowest inflation rate in the region and trade balance deficit is on declining trend. The US delegation was informed that Karachi Stock Exchange is the best performing stock exchange in the world during the last one year.

The US officials assured the finance minister that the Coalition Support Fund (CSF) amounting to $600 million would be released without any delay. The visiting delegation also informed the Finance Minister that the United States is going to launch 80 million dollar Pakistan Investment Fund for SMEs in January 2013.

During the meeting the US delegation informed the Finance Minister that active participation of Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) in development of Pakistan would be ensured. The active participation of OPIC will increase the support for projects in Pakistan from $ 100 million to $1 billion.

The visiting US delegation also reaffirmed US commitment for provision of $200 million for Diamer-Basha Dam.

Both the sides discussed Pak-US bilateral trade also. The US delegation said that USA is trying to facilitate Pakistan’s exports to the United States to a maximum degree. It was further informed by the visiting delegation that US investment in Pakistan is witnessing ever increasing trend.

Olson and Raphel committed that the US would extend its cooperation to optimum level for timely completion of development projects in Pakistan.

The visiting delegation informed that the US would assist Pakistan in every possible way to overcome energy crisis. The delegation further told that assistance to Pakistan for development of social sector and infrastructure will also be accelerated.\12\14\story_14-12-2012_pg7_13

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 5, 2013 at 7:40pm

Here's Daily Times on US Aid (Part 1):

Health: United States expands access to health care by building new medical ward and training centre: On December 11, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) completed construction of a new $4.5 million obstetrics and gynecology ward at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre. This new ward will provide 60 beds for surgery and treatment of obstetrics and gynecological conditions that afflict many poor women in Sindh and Balochistan. About 15,000 women per year will receive life-saving treatment there.
USAID also built a new training institute that would upgrade the Jinnah Medical Centre’s capacity as a first-rate center for medical education in Pakistan. This new Institute will allow the medical faculty to maintain their skills and make state-of-the-art training available for more than 1,300 medical students.
Two million mothers and children benefit from US-funded Child Health Programme: From September 2006 to January 2013, USAID’s Child Health Programme has provided health information and services to two million mothers and children. The programme organised health, immunisation and nutrition days, mobile health units for remote areas and health awareness sessions. Thirteen health care facilities, including the civil hospital in Spin, South Waziristan were constructed. The Spin hospital alone serves a population of 40,000. The programme is also installing nine solar systems at health facilities.
US-funded Warehouse Attains ISO Certification: A USAID-funded warehouse for medical supplies in Karachi received ISO Certification 9001:2008 for Quality Management Systems. The warehouse was rebuilt by USAID to triple its storage capacity from 18,000 to 50,000 square feet. USAID also introduced warehouse management, bar coding and automated inventory management systems and trained staff to operate and maintain these new systems. As a result, the warehouse has become a state-of-the-art contraceptive storage facility.
United States helps upgrade medical care for women: With a $99,374 grant from the US Ambassador’s Fund, the Falah Foundation improved maternal and child health services in Chakwal district Punjab. The grant paid for diagnostic machines, medical supplies, beds and a solar heating system at the Lt Gen Mushtaq Baig Memorial Hospital.
The hospital handles over 360 deliveries and 150,000 outpatient cases annually and carries out testing for endemic diseases in the area.
Energy: On December 10, Alex Thier Assistant to the USAID Administrator visited a neighborhood where USAID had recently installed an energy-efficient tubewell. USAID is helping Capital Development Authority (CDA) replace 187 outdated tubewells with energy-efficient models. The new wells increase water supply and reduce Islamabad’s energy consumption, saving the CDA $900,000 per year. They have also cut the number of daily resident complaints about water supply from 1,000 to 40.
Economic growth and agriculture: The USAID Agri-Business Project is partnering with local and international NGOs to create 3,000 ‘Farmer Enterprise Groups’. These groups help increase the representational and sales power of small farmers. The project will train 45,000 farmers in the fruit, vegetable, dairy, and livestock sectors to help them improve production and sales.
Community development: With support from USAID, communities in Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Punjab and Sindh have completed 1,970 local infrastructure projects worth $79 million since November 2007. Projects include the construction of new drinking water systems, nearly 300 kilometers (km) of roads and 100 km of irrigation channels and floodwalls. Additionally USAID helped communities rehabilitate nearly 200 schools. More than 300 projects worth $21 million are still under way.....\02\06\story_6-2-2013_pg5_6

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 5, 2013 at 7:47pm

Here's Daily Times on US Aid (Part 2):

Water system rehabilitation in Peshawar: USAID-funded Municipal Services Programme began cleaning drainage ditches and rehabilitating tubewell pump houses in Town-1 Peshawar. This work will greatly reduce contamination of drinking water, a major cause of water-borne diseases.
Child Protection Programme: USAID’s Child Protection Programme, which ended in December 2012 after two years supported 128,000 women and children affected by the 2009 conflict between armed forces and extremist groups in Malakand and adjacent areas of FATA. The project provided Pakistanis with health care, rehabilitation services, counseling, nutrition, vaccination and support for enrollment in schools. The project also helped National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) register more than 123,000 births.
Enhances skills of FATA officials: USAID trained FATA officials from various government departments on office management, communication, media relations and public financial management. Twenty officials became master trainers on Zakat and Ushr procedures to effectively govern alms giving. These specialists will train over 500 chairmen of local Zakat committees to improve the efficiency and transparency of Zakat and Ushr distribution to FATA’s poorest citizens.
Education: USAID’s Deputy Director for Punjab Jeffrey Bakken joined FCC officials to inaugurate a USAID-funded Resource Centre at the FCC’s Public Policy and Governance Centre. The Resource Centre will support and promote empirical research in Pakistan. It houses literature, data and training facilities for students, researchers and policymakers to be used for informed decision making.
USAID Programmes to Punjab civil society: A USAID-organised workshop on education in Lahore informed Punjab’s civil society about USAID education grants, common challenges and collaboration opportunities. Approximately 60 representatives from academia, civil society, government and think tanks participated.....\02\06\story_6-2-2013_pg5_6

Comment by Riaz Haq on February 26, 2013 at 10:01pm

Here's a Eurasia Op Ed by Musbashir Akram on multiple dimensions of US-Pak ties:

Nations maintain multiple levels of engagement. And political, defence, regional and strategic engagements are not the only ones that we should be looking at. It is in the interest of better understanding that areas where cooperation is smooth and provide clear benefits should also be given “equal treatment” in the popular media. This is needed so that media audiences can broaden their horizons.

Many Pakistani and American critics conveniently ignore the fact that both countries have a long history of mutual cooperation, such as training teachers during the USAID Teacher Education Project, building the Satpara Dam in Gilgit-Baltistan and providing essential support to each other’s political and regional goals, such as ensuring security, stability and peace in Afghanistan, particularly after the scheduled withdrawal of US and Allied Forces in 2014.

It appears that both countries, the United States and Pakistan, share more things in common than differences. The United States is currently assisting Pakistan in many social and institutional development initiatives from supporting legislative programs to education sector reforms.

The relatively new but welcome commitment of the United States to Pakistan’s democracy, in part through the USAID Pakistan Legislative Strengthening Project, is extremely encouraging. It’s worth noting that, though Pakistan’s democracy is not new, it’s the first time in the country’s history that a democratic government is completing its term instead of a military regime.

At present, Pakistan is the largest recipient of the US Educational Foundation’s Fulbright Program in the world. There are 569 Pakistani students studying in the United States at American universities of their choice. In addition, America recently contributed to upgrading the education system in Pakistan. Eight leading American universities have partnered with their Pakistani counterparts to form distance-learning programs using the internet.

For example, on 3 February 2013, San Jose State University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Allama Iqbal Open University to improve the educational methodologies for their respective students via a distance learning program. Conducting joint research, updating curricula and faculty exchange programs are just a few aspects of the program. Seven other universities have also benefited from the program.

Earlier, Fatima Jinnah Women’s University, National University of Modern Languages, Quaid-e-Azam University, Shaheed Benazir Women’s University entered into joint partnership with the University of Texas, the University of North Texas, Ball State University, and Southern Methodist University respectively. These MOUs are expected to inject nearly $9 million into Pakistani universities that are now linked with their American counterparts. This exchange will also enable Americans to learn about a country that usually gets negative press, and its people.

At another level, the United States is providing financial assistance to various provincial government programs that educate nearly 3.2 million children in Pakistan. America has helped 16 public universities in Pakistan to build teacher training facilities. Moreover, other educational programs provide higher education scholarships to nearly 12,000 Pakistani students. As Pakistan struggles to improve standards and quality of education, such activities improve the situation of thousands of Pakistani students.

It is extremely heartening that the United States and Pakistan have chosen educational cooperation, among other types, as a key instrument of engagement with each other. This should be institutionalised over the long term as this not only strengthens Pakistan, but also connects Pakistani youth with their American counterparts....


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    Pakistan's Computer Services Exports Jump 26% Amid COVID19 Lockdown

    Pakistan's computer services exports soared 26% in March, 2020 over the same month last year. This growth occurred in spite of the coronavirus lockdown that began on March 23, 2020. The nation's total services exports fell 17% in the same month.

    The ICT services exports bucked the overall down trend in Pakistan's exports. The country exported computer service…


    Posted by Riaz Haq on May 17, 2020 at 1:29pm — 13 Comments

    Trump Picks Muslim American Expert to Lead Covid-19 Vaccine Effort

    President Donald Trump has picked renowned Moroccan-born Muslim American immunologist Dr. Moncef Mohamed Slaoui to  lead  Operation Warp Speed, America's COVID-19 vaccine program. Trump has compared this vaccine effort with the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb in the 1940s.…


    Posted by Riaz Haq on May 16, 2020 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

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