10 May : Even before a legislation on civilian aid to Pakistan was passed by the US Congress, the Obama Administration has more than tripled its assistance to Islamabad for the years 2009 and 2010 in its budgetary proposals.More than USD 2 billion would be flowing into Pakistan at a same time, State Department told reporters today at a media briefing on State Department’s International Affair’s Budget for the year 2010.
"For the fiscal year 2010, the Obama Administration has proposed USD 1.6 billion for Pakistan, while USD 2.8 billion goes to Afghanistan," said Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Jacob Lew.
"In all the State Department’s annual budget for the year 2010 includes USD 4.4 billion in assistance to support the President’s new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, including significant funding for non-military aid for both countries," he said.
The 2009 supplemental request, which was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on Thursday, includes USD 597 million to help address the economic crisis including agriculture and food security, assist the displaced population, strengthen national and provincial governance, expand the rule of law, and improve access to and quality of education in Pakistan.
An additional donor’s meet held in Tokyo recently pledged USD 5.5 billion financial aid to Pakistan, including USD 1 billion each for Pakistan and Afghanistan by the US.
The Obama Administration is also seeking to give more than USD 1 billion to Pakistan in less than two years to enhance its counterinsurgency capabilities.
The newly established Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund has been allocated USD 400 million.
The budget for the year 2010 has proposed USD 700 million in this special fund.
"We are on a path that is really consistent with the level of economic assistance in the Kerry Lugar Bill which the Administration is supporting," Lew said.