Washington: U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2012 budget proposes USD 3.1 billion financial assistance to Pakistan as part of USD 5.3 billion “in core assistance and diplomatic support to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan”. Of this USD 1.9 billion in assistance to Pakistan is earmarked to “promote a secure, stable, democratic and prosperous Pakistan with a focus on energy, economic growth, agriculture, the delivery of health and education services, and strengthening the government of Pakistan’s capacity to govern effectively and accountably”.
Another USD 45 million is proposed for “operations to support infrastructure for maintaining U.S. government civilian and diplomatic presence and to support educational and cultural exchange programmes to build bridges with civil society”. Pakistan gets USD 1.2 billion more for “helping eliminate violent extremist elements and strengthen regional security” under the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Budget”.
This includes “USD 1.1 billion for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund to provide critical equipment and training for Pakistani security forces, increasing the ability of the Pakistani government to combat insurgents inside Pakistan and eliminating the insurgent’s capacity to conduct cross-border operations in Afghanistan that jeopardize U.S. lives and the mission there.”
“We have USD 350 million in that part of the budget for FMF (Foreign Military Financing) programmes, which is part of the five-year agreement that we have made with the government of Pakistan,” a State Department official told reporters.
In 2010, Pakistan received USD 79 million under the OCO Budget, which is estimated to jump to USD 1.3 billion in 2011. In Afghanistan, out of a total USD 2.3 billion assistance USD 2.2 billion is to target the priority sectors of governance, rule of law, counter-narcotics, agriculture, economic growth, health, and education in Afghanistan.
This apart, USD 111 million is for operations to support infrastructure for maintaining US government civilian and diplomatic presence and to support educational and cultural exchange programmes to build bridges with civil society. Of Iraq’s USD 1.0 billion assistance, USD 436 million is to support Iraq’s economic growth activities in the provinces and at the local level with a particular focus on agriculture, job creation, and essential service provision.
Also, USD 593 million is to support infrastructure for maintaining US government civilian and diplomatic presence and to support educational and cultural exchange programmes to build bridges with civil society as well as provide funding for the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq. An additional USD 8.7 billion is included for the extraordinary and temporary costs in frontline states in the Overseas Contingency Operations request.-ONLINE