Pakistan does not get $1.4b committed aid

Published: January 9, 2018
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Countries include EU members, US, UK, Japan and Saudi Arabia. PHOTO: REUTERS

Countries include EU members, US, UK, Japan and Saudi Arabia. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan did not receive the $1.4 billion worth of aid that various countries have promised to reduce poverty, improve social services in the tribal areas and bring in reforms in the education and health sectors.

The countries included members of the European Union, the US, the UK, Japan and Saudi Arabia, showed the official documents of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs.

The amount was 30% of the total outstanding grants of $4.5 billion that various donors had committed to Pakistan, according to the official documents.

The $1.4 billion is the amount that remained undisbursed till the last closing dates of the projects being undertaken through the grants. The remaining aid of $3.1 billion will materialise over a period of next three to four years.

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As a developing country, Pakistan historically remained dependent on foreign donors for improving conditions in the social sectors. However, questions remain on the real benefits of the foreign aid, which often does not reach to the targeted people.

Having relied heavily on donors, the PPP and the PML-N governments have even appealed to foreign donors to meet the financial needs of the people affected by the military operations launched to flush out terrorists and to deal with the aftermaths of floods.

The main reasons for not getting the grants were delay in fulfilling the requirements put forth by the donors, said sources in the Economic Affairs Division. The donors were also at fault in many cases — the most important being lack of seriousness after committing the aid fund, added the sources.

Out of the $2.1 billion outstanding grant that the US has committed till 2020, Pakistan has not been able to utilise $506 million before the closing dates of the projects being undertaken through the grant, showed the documents.

A $55.7 million grant that the US had given in 2010 for farmers education programme has lapsed. The $35.6 million US grant for Golan Gol hydropower project also remained unutilised till the closing period.

Another grant amounting to $96.9 million by the US for ‘strengthening democracy’ also remained unutilised. Roughly, $144 million US grant given for economic opportunities remained undisbursed. The $56.5 million aid for Fata Development Programme also could not be used.

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But sources in the finance ministry said the federal government did not have any role in the utilisation or non-utilisation of the US aid. They said the US had a plan to directly disburse the money among various non-governmental organisations.

The sources said delay in hiring the subcontractors and contractors by the US authorities for the execution of their funded projects was another reason for non-disbursement of the aid.

Out of $848 million outstanding aid commitments by the United Kingdom, about $365 million aid could not be timely utilised by Pakistan, according to the official documents.

A $214 million UK aid for balance of payments support could not be utilised till the closing day of June last year. Similarly, the $80.2 million that the UK had given for poverty reduction also remained unutilised. A $29 million that the UK government had given for maternal and newborn children health also lapsed years ago.

The UK assistance for transport, education and sub-national government also remained unutilised till the closing of these projects.

Japan’s $115.6 million aid for improving, health, water and sanitation systems remained unutilised. The $17.4 million grant that Japan had given for improving the airport security system is shown as undisbursed as of September last year, according to the official documents.

A $4.5 million grant for counter terrorism programme also remained unutilised. The $10 million given for improving the conditions of a child health institution in Karachi remained undisbursed.

A $44.6 million aid by Italy for the citizen damage reduction programme and poverty reduction has remained undisbursed. Germany’s $17.8 million aid for addressing the issues of HIV/AIDS and Ghakkar electricity substation remained unutilized.

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Various projects funded by the European Union worth $215 million also remained incomplete due to non-disbursement of the aid. The undisbursed amount was nearly 38% of the total outstanding commitments given by the EU.

The $78.7 million that the UAE had committed for Sindh union councils and committees remained undisbursed till August last year, which was the closing date of the project.

The $23.6 million aid committed for support for technical and vocational education remained undisbursed till four months ago.

Similarly, the $13 million that the UAE had given for the Sindh Education Sector project were not released. The aid commitments given for public finance management and support to democratic institutions also remained undisbursed.

Also, Saudi Arabia did not disburse $26.6 million that the kingdom had committed for earthquake project.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Freedom
    Jan 9, 2018 - 10:12AM

    Why does Pakistan look towards aid. Instead of that prepare competent Human Resource. Create new businesses and jobs. I’m sure country will get back to her feet in no timeRecommend

  • vinsin
    Jan 9, 2018 - 10:17AM

    Let accept it. All knows where Pakistan aid since partition/independence going. Pakistan spend 3.5% of GDP on defence whereas actual figures are above 5% of GDP.Recommend

  • Saleem
    Jan 9, 2018 - 10:23AM

    Pakistan historically remained
    dependent on foreign donors for
    improving conditions in the social
    sectors……..

    Rather than depending on foreign donars if Pakistan can get rid of corruption by its politicians then it will do a lot better. Pakistan should follow the step of China and execute anyone involve in mega corruption. Recommend

  • Travis L
    Jan 9, 2018 - 10:40AM

    Spend the money used to support the terror infrastructure to reduce poverty. A nation that depends on aid to survive is not really a viable nation.Recommend

  • Jabir Iqbal
    Jan 9, 2018 - 11:03AM

    Thankyou All countries. Please do not give us an addiction to become beggars. Our leafers send that money to London and Swiss accounts anyway. Kickout the beggar leaders from your country. Recommend

  • Suleman
    Jan 9, 2018 - 11:07AM

    It makes one sad to see the situation in Pakistan. However, what would you expect of a country where more than half of the top leadership has their children settled in other countries and pilferage wealth outside the country. Most of the leaders do not have a stake in the country’s development. Recommend

  • Mango man
    Jan 9, 2018 - 11:55AM

    Beggars making demands off donors without fulfilling conditions happens only with Pak! Uspe seena Jiri! Losers living in denialRecommend

  • Sharath Chandra
    Jan 9, 2018 - 12:00PM

    Kashmir Banega PakistanRecommend

  • yasir
    Jan 9, 2018 - 12:15PM

    Incredible. Then they say we need more money. Recommend

  • Shuaib
    Jan 9, 2018 - 12:21PM

    Look Pakistan’s tax revenue is increasing at 17.5% annually, if our government was responsible, our aid issue would over in two years. PMLN is fiscally irresponsible.Recommend

  • israr
    Jan 9, 2018 - 12:42PM

    aid aid and aid
    that is all Pmln govt has been looking at all the time, fresh elections please get rid of pmln for goodRecommend

  • Jadugar
    Jan 9, 2018 - 4:29PM

    Pakistan needs to choose between being a slave to foreign aid donors or live independent, free of foreign dictation. This is a good time to assert itself. Recommend

  • BrainBro
    Jan 9, 2018 - 9:23PM

    The GHQ takes up to 10% to 25% of all incoming aid in various direct and indirect forms. This fact was reported by many publications including this one. This is why.Recommend

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