01 October 2010
By Stephen Kaufman
Staff Writer, Department of State
Washington — U.S. Coordinator for Economic and Development Assistance Robin Raphael signed a partnership agreement allocating the first $831 million of more than $1 billion in development funds for Pakistan, part of the 2009 Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act.
According to a September 30 statement by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, the funds will be provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and will be used for programs in Pakistan’s health, education, agriculture and energy sectors as the country continues to recover from devastating flooding.
An additional $204 million is expected to follow in the coming days, Raphael said in remarks at the September 30 signing of the partnership agreement in Islamabad.
“We will implement our assistance in the most open, transparent and accountable manner, so the people of Pakistan and of the United States know where the money is going,” Raphael said.
“In light of last month’s devastating floods, we believe it is even more important that we consult closely to ensure our priorities remain aligned as we move from recovery to reconstruction,” she said, adding that the Obama administration is working closely with Pakistani officials in that endeavor.
To maximize the impact of the U.S. assistance, the United States will work with both Pakistani governmental and nongovernmental institutions that are delivering key services to the Pakistani people, she said.
According to a September 30 fact sheet on the partnership agreement that was released by the U.S. embassy, the U.S. funding is designed to improve the Pakistani government’s capacities to address the country’s most critical infrastructure needs, provide improved economic opportunities in areas vulnerable to extremism, and strengthen Pakistan’s capacity to pursue economic and political reforms that reinforce stability.
Of the $831.335 million total, $98.9 million has been allocated for democracy and governance; $130.4 million for health; $179.45 million for education; $144 million for improving economic opportunity; $56.5 million for agriculture; $44.8 million for energy; $111.3 million to fund stabilization and humanitarian assistance in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA); and $65.97 million for stabilization and humanitarian assistance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
On September 20, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke said the U.S. House of Representatives had authorized the Obama administration to redirect funding from $7.5 billion in civilian assistance funds that were authorized by the 2009 Kerry-Lugar-Berman Act to assist Pakistan flood relief efforts..
“We had a very careful plan for Kerry-Lugar-Berman money,” such as infrastructure projects to improve the country’s water and energy sectors, Holbrooke said. But “with one-fifth of the country under water and an emergency, it’s self-evident that some of that money should be redirected into other areas.”
As flood relief and recovery efforts continue, the United States has thus far provided approximately $362 million in assistance, including $312 million to support immediate relief efforts. The additional $50 million is being used to help rebuild communities affected by the floods, according to a September 29 fact sheet provided by the U.S. embassy.
Another $67 million in U.S. civilian and military in-kind assistance has been provided in the form of halal meals, infrastructure support and air support. The fact sheet says there are currently 26 U.S. military helicopters inside Pakistan supporting relief efforts, and an average of four to six C-130 and C-17 aircraft delivering aid daily.
“These aircraft have evacuated more than 20,000 people and delivered more than 13 million pounds of relief supplies,” the fact sheet said.
U.S.-based callers can help with relief efforts by texting “FLOOD” to the number 27722, which will make a $10 donation to the State Department’s Pakistan Relief Fund. In addition, by texting “SWAT” to the number 50555, U.S.-based callers can make a $10 contribution that will help the United Nations provide the Pakistani people with tents, clothing, food, drinking water and medicine. In Pakistan, callers may text FLOODS to 7111, Pakistan’s active Humari Awaz (“Our Voice”) mobile phone network, to share information or receive flood updates.
Donors everywhere can find more information and lists of relief organizations operating in Pakistan through the State Department website.