USAID Defends Pace of Pakistani Aid Spending

    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.

    >> GAO: In Pakistan, A Need to Address Weak Capacity of USAID’s Local Partners

    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.

    Read more U.S. development aid news.

    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.