Donors reluctant to route aid via government

Published: August 27, 2010
Pakistan's image problem affecting situation on-ground. PHOTO: REUTERS

Pakistan's image problem affecting situation on-ground. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: As official relief agencies struggle to reach out to thousands of marooned river communities, international donors appear reluctant to wire their assistance through trust-deficient Pakistan government, officials told The Express Tribune here Thursday.

Representatives of donor organisations and ambassadors of various countries cold-shouldered a request by President Asif Ali Zardari, seeking direct assistance.

President Zardari on Thursday met envoys of the US, the UK, EU, Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia and representatives of international donor agencies to review the ongoing flood situation and relief activities. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also attended the meeting.

The president urged the donors to provide direct assistance for better utilisation of funding.

He assured the donor countries and agencies that the government fully believes in transparency and accountability in the use of funds. “Each penny will be spent for  relief and rehabilitation,” he claimed.

Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit confirmed that Pakistan wants aid to be channelled through the government.

“We have requested the donors to route their aid through government,” he said, adding utilisation of aid through NGOs has administrative cost.

However, international donors would not agree.

“It is not possible for us to give direct aid to the Pakistan government,” a western diplomat, who attended the meeting, told The Express Tribune.

“We have our own system to deliver aid. We want every dollar to be used appropriately,” he added, requesting anonymity.

The global community is spending most of the assistance through NGOs, casting doubt on the credibility of the government.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the president’s media office said President Zardari in a meeting with ambassadors and representatives of donor agencies called for quick disbursement of the pledged funds.

The President lauded the international community for their support to meet challenge of the “slow-motion tsunami.”

He said the assistance by the international community was a short-term measure to deal with the worst flooding in history.

“The long-term remedy to compensate such stupendous loss consists of allowing enhanced market access for Pakistani products, according preferential trade facilities, creating ROZs and more investments in the country,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 27th, 2010.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Imran A. Azeem
    Aug 27, 2010 - 3:58AM

    “Each penny will be spent for relief and rehabilitation,” of Whom?? Why not Mr. Zardari & PML N chief & his brother bring back the looted money of Pakistan home and spend on Flood Victims.
    Not only Pakistan Government but Pakistan as a Nation too is loosing confidence of International Community even of our Fast & long term frinds.Recommend

  • Tippu
    Aug 27, 2010 - 4:31AM

    It is heartening to read that the donors refused pakistan government’s request and will instead continue to distribute the aid themselves. Not a single penny should go to pakistan government as it will end up in a palace or a chateau someplace.Recommend

  • Faheem J. Khan
    Aug 27, 2010 - 6:26AM

    Can someone please tell Mr Asif Ali Zardari to stay out of the aid business! Just lay off and let the good work done!Recommend

  • Ahmed Z. Khan
    Aug 27, 2010 - 8:48AM

    No DAAAAA!!!Recommend

  • Sadia Hussain
    Aug 27, 2010 - 12:39PM

    The role of NGO’s is crucial in the development of Pakistan. Quite obviously the Taliban wants us to perceive the Ngo’s as foreign agents for these organizations are working in the areas of education, women empowerment and poverty alleviation. The aim of Taliban is too keep the masses underdeveloped so that they can be exploited with ease. Charities Recommend

  • Hira Mir
    Aug 27, 2010 - 12:43PM

    There is a major lapse of credibility. We must buy in the confidence of the donors by the state utilizing maximum in the interest of flood victims with transparency. This is a critical time but we can work things out if we unite and think positive. Work hard rather than betray out country.Recommend

  • jamal khan
    Sep 3, 2010 - 11:24PM

    NGO’s have up to 30% deduction for admin costs ..
    there is a 1 organisation in the UK that is 100% donation and 0% admin .. by the name of UMMAH WELFARE TRUST..
    whereas the govt of pakistan is the other way round 100% admin and 0% donation..
    Bunch of clowns ..Recommend

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