This week, as donors scrambled to send aid to flood-ravaged Pakistan, some were also busy defending their causes.
The U.K., which pledged 5 million pounds (USD7.9 million) for Pakistani flood victims through UNICEF, unveiled its new foreign aid plan, with a focus on women’s issues such family planning and girls’ education. The British government said it is “morally right” to aid poor nations. U.K. aid chief Andrew Mitchell argued that while charity does start at home, it “doesn’t stop there.”
Apart from saving Pakistani lives, the U.S., mapped out its strategies for Afghanistan and the Millennium Development Goals.
The U.S. is providing USD10 million in aid, as well as helicopters, boats, pre-fabricated bridges, mobile water treatment units, and emergency food supplies to address humanitarian needs of Pakistani flood victims. The U.S. Agency of International Development, which is expected to spend a record amount in procurement over the next two months, has also deployed humanitarian relief experts to work with the Pakistani government and manage the overall U.S. response effort.
Accountability – along with improvements in staffing, contracting, and direct assistance – lays the groundwork for U.S. development operation in Afghanistan, USAID chief Rajiv Shah said. The move came amid reports that U.S. aid money may have been part of the billions of dollars in cash flown out of Afghanistan each year. The U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, said the U.S. is “not missing money.”
The U.S. government’s MDG action plan, unveiled July 30, places a premium on innovation, sustainability, tracking development outcomes and mutual accountability. The development community appears to be divided over the strategy.
The European Union, meanwhile, has committed 30 million euros (USD39 million) to assist flood victims and other vulnerable groups in Pakistan. The bloc has also kicked off the selection process of diplomats to serve as members of the European External Action Service, with European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton in charge of the screening of applicants. The EU is exploring counting in-kind donations and volunteer cost toward match-funding targets to simplify the method through which it provides funds to charities.
Donor nations including China, Australia and Canada, United Nations agencies, and aid organizations are contributing to Pakistani relief efforts.
-Miroslav Kalousek – European Investment Bank governor for the Czech Republic.
-Carman Lapointe-Young – undersecretary-general for the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services.
-Anton Rop – vice president and member of the management committee at EIB.