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USAID’s Pakistan strategy: Partner with local government – a conversation with Julie Koenen

By Sam Mednick06 May 2011

Julie Koenen (middle), the officer in charge of the United States Agency for International Development’s new Karachi office, seen here during a program in Pakistan. The country has been a hot spot for international development business for years. Photo by: USAID

Pakistan has been a hot spot for international development business for years, and one of the country’s largest bilateral donors is the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Julie Koenen is the officer in charge of USAID’s new Karachi office, one of three Pakistan field offices that oversee operations in the Sindh and Balochistan provinces. In an exclusive interview with Devex in late April, Koenen discussed USAID funding trends, the agency’s focus on working with the Pakistani government, and strategies for aid implementers to secure funding.

In an email, Koenen confirmed that “there has been no change in USAID’s strategy in Pakistan due to [al-Qaida leader Osama] bin Laden’s death” at the hands of U.S. special forces on May 1 near the country’s capital, Islamabad.

USAID’s Karachi office was established last year and at the end of last month employed eight out of up to 30 staff who are expected to be hired, most of them locally. Apart from its mission headquarters in Islamabad, USAID operates regional offices in Peshawar and Lahore to oversee programming in KPK and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, as well as the Punjab province, respectively. These regional offices also manage relationships with the provincial government, local non-governmental organizations and communities.

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About the author

Sam mednick compressed
Sam Mednick

Sam is a writer and videographer based in Barcelona who has reported for Devex News from the Middle East and South Asia. She has worked in radio as the executive producer of the Good Life Show, hosted her own talk radio shows, worked as a correspondent and journalism trainer in northern Ghana, and freelanced for a variety of online and print publications.


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