US economic aid to Pakistan, which totals more than $1.5 billion a year, is a key part of the Obama administration’s strategy to strengthen the US-Pakistan strategic partnership. But most of the aid that was allocated for last year is still in US government coffers.
Only $179.5 million out of $1.51 billion in US aid to Pakistan was actually disbursed in fiscal 2010, the Government Accountability Office said in a report last month.
None of the funds were spent to create the kind of water, energy and food infrastructure that Richard Holbrooke advocated for when he was the administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Moreover, according to the report, the Obama administration hasn’t yet set up the mechanisms to make sure the money isn’t misspent.
“The full impact of the fiscal year 2010 civilian assistance could not be determined because most of the funding had not yet been disbursed,” the report states.
Holbrooke’s office, which is now run by Marc Grossman, said the leftover funds were due to the fact that the money was appropriated belatedly. Experts note that the disparity between US promises to Pakistan and funds delivered is a constant irritant in the US-Pakistan relationship.
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