Politico Features Story on the Great Pakistan Aid Debate

David Rogers’ piece in Politico yesterday took a substantive look at the debate over aid to Pakistan.  Rogers fleshes out the nuanced relationship between development assistance and national security interests that inform major policy decisions, while also addressing internal priorities that are impacting the way the aid is delivered.

The full piece is worth a read, but excerpts follow:

“The opportunity for aid in Pakistan is not to fundamentally change the country,” she [Jacqueline Novogratz] said. “It’s an opportunity to build a real sense of trust in ways that we have not done a good job of in the past. If we can show this over time, then things will change.  If we took a longer-term view, it could actually lead measurably to our security, specifically going after local leaders, investing in them as partners, a multiyear commitment.”

“Recent AID documents indicate close to $3 billion, or 40 percent of the $7.5 billion, is expected to be targeted to a variety of energy and agriculture projects. Education is a third major priority, and the U.S. has begun pumping millions into an existing Pakistan income support program aimed at poor women.”

“But the months of discussion — capped by a March “strategic dialogue” meeting in Washington — appear to have changed the dynamic 180 degrees. Now the complaint heard most is not about conditions but about how slowly the dollars have flowed.”

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