The U.S. Agency for International Development is maintaining its programs in Pakistan despite security concerns, USAID Pakistan Mission Director Robert Wilson said. The agency is, in fact, looking at expanding its programs by tapping local institutions, he said.
"There are plans to expand," Wilson was cited by the Daily Times as saying. "We want to continue the cycle and expand that cycle."
USAID has identified education, health, energy, water, agriculture, irrigation, roads and infrastructure, and social services as the agency's possible areas of cooperation with Pakistani authorities.
The agency also plans to build the capacities of local organizations that will administer the U.S. government's aid money in Pakistan, ProPublica reports. In a notice posted on Grants.gov, USAID is soliciting for comments and suggestions on how to train Pakistani government ministries, contractors and non-governmental organizations. The comments will be used to help create a request for applications for the agency's USD25 million assessment and strengthening program, which seeks to improve the operations of Pakistani implementing partners.
"The ASP will specifically target those local implementing partners which are considered essential to meeting USAID/Pakistan's goals and objectives, but do not meet minimum standards for managing USG funds," according to the notice. "The ASP will allow for the provision of the technical assistance required to build their institutional capacity up to USAID standards."