Should Pakistan Stop Asking for Foreign Aid?

The Pakistani government should stop asking for foreign aid as part of its reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the recent massive flooding that affected up to a third of the country, a financial analyst argues. Farooq Tirmizi explains that aid, especially in the form of grants, only leads to minimal short-term results while causing long-term damages.

Foreign aid, Tirmizi says, brings two problems: It fosters a culture of dependency, and it’s delivery is often rife with structural problems that could be bad for beneficiary governments.

Aid, particularly grants that governments do not need to pay back, offers only “temporary solutions to chronic problems while deepening the structural flaws that caused them in the first place,” Tirmizi argues.

“This is not to question the donors’ motivations, but rather the effectiveness of the methods that they utilise. The best that they can do to help developing countries like Pakistan is to offer freer access to their markets. And stop giving more free money,” he explains in an opinion piece in the Express Tribune.

Going beyond politics

Meanwhile, the head of the Western Asia bureau of the U.K. Department for International Development urged the provincial and federal governments of Pakistan, along with their international partners, to put aside their political issues and instead cooperate on boosting the country’s development.

“The federal and provincial governments along with the international community need to come together and work for development as a team,” Moazam Malik said, according to the Express Tribune.

Malik added that the recent flooding is the largest challenge Pakistan has encountered.

About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.