Pakistan, US sign $831 million partnership agreement

ISLAMABAD (October 01 2010): United States and Pakistan on Thursday signed a five-year partnership agreement under which $831 million will be utilised on various programmes in key sectors. While addressing the signing ceremony, Ambassador Robin L Raphel, US Co-ordinator for Economic and Development Assistance said that the agreement was an important element in the implementation of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill.

The allocation of $831 million is part of the more than $1 billion in development assistance funds which United States will provide to US Agency for International Development (USAID) programmes in Pakistan this year. “We will implement our assistance in the most open, transparent and accountable manner, so that the people of Pakistan and of the United States know where the money is going,” said Raphel adding, “the funds will be used for programmes in key sectors including health, education, agriculture and energy.

Raphel said USAID had already provided $224 million under Kerry-Lugar-Berman funds for priority projects in Pakistan. “The amount of $204 million will be disbursed in couple of days.” The Ambassador further said that US will disburse $1.5 billion through US agencies this year. Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Economic Affairs Division (EAD) Sibtain Fazal Halim said that Pakistan had well-established mechanism for utilisation of funds.

“We have double checks – pre audit and post audit to ensure transparency in usage of funds,” he added. Halim maintained that 50 percent of the pledged strategic assistance will be utilised through government channels which will be spent on federal and provincial projects.

Meanwhile, according to statement issued by US embassy, the Governments of the United States and Pakistan signed a five-year Partnership Agreement to: (i) improve the Government of Pakistan’s capacity to the address the country’s most critical infrastructure needs;(ii) help the government of Pakistan address basic needs and provide improved economic opportunities in areas vulnerable to extremism; and (iii) strengthen Pakistan’s capacity to pursue economic and political reforms that reinforce stability.

The total amount of $831 million for this agreement is divided as follows: Social Sector Health $130,425,000; Education $179,454,711; Economic Growth, Economic Opportunity $144,000,762; Agriculture $56,493,820; Energy $44,825,000; Stabilisation and Humanitarian Assistance FATA $111,264,712; and KPK $65,957,156 – Brecorder