The U.S. Agency for International Development has explained the slow disbursal of U.S. aid to Pakistan, which some officials say is hampering development efforts in the Asian country.
“This is a long-term enterprise, and building that takes time, and we’re doing that,” The New York Times quotes Andrew Sisson, the agency’s director for Pakistan.
The Government Accountability Office noted in a February report that only $179.5 million out of the $1.5 billion allocated for the five-year programs for 2010 had been disbursed as of December. The report also urged USAID to address the weak capacity of its local partners in Pakistan.
Meantime, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a series of hearings to assess the progress of U.S. engagement in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The series of hearings is expected to “debate the end-state in Afghanistan, assess the strategic relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan, and examine regional implications,” SFRC Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) said. The first of the hearings will be held May 2 and feature testimonies on Afghanistan. The committee will then hear testimonies about Pakistan on May 5.
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