WILSON CENTER RECOMMENDS SWEEPING CHANGES IN TROUBLED PAKISTAN AID PROGRAM
WASHINGTON: The Wilson Center today released a major new report on the controversial U.S. civilian assistance program to Pakistan, known as Kerry-Lugar-Berman (KLB). The report warns that substantial mid-course changes are necessary if KLB is to fulfill its goals for both the United States and Pakistan, and provides nearly 30 recommendations for guiding KLB forward.
“We have to get Pakistan right,” said Jane Harman, president and CEO of the Wilson Center. “This report represents an important step in that direction.”
Aiding Without Abetting: Making U.S. Civilian Assistance to Pakistan Work for Both Sides concludes that a robust program of U.S. civilian assistance to Pakistan serves important American interests. It urges Congress not to confuse security aid to the Pakistani military with economic assistance designed to shore up civilian government, address food, health, and energy shortfalls in Pakistan, and lay the groundwork for a successful Pakistan and a long-term U.S.-Pakistani partnership.
“Writing Pakistan out of the American foreign policy script is simply not an option,” President Harman said. “We should not penalize Pakistan’s civilian sector because of our serious differences with its military and should live up to our pledge to provide Pakistan with economic assistance through 2014. ”
“U.S. assistance is not a Pakistani entitlement, however. American aid should augment, not replace, Pakistani funding. We must reenergize and reform the manner in which we deliver civilian aid to Pakistan, with each U.S. aid project including a roadmap and timetable for becoming self-sustaining.”
Notes to Editors
- Aiding Without Abetting: Making U.S. Civilian Assistance to Pakistan Work for Both Sides is the product of a year-long study by a 17-member working group organized by the Wilson Center. The group, consisting of Pakistan experts and development specialists from both countries, examined the broad principles governing the aid program, and some of the specific mechanisms of implementation.
- Wilson Center Asia Program director Robert M. Hathaway, who convened the working group, singled out Ms. Polly Nayak for her “extraordinary skill, dedication, and perseverance” in chairing the working group and serving as the report’s lead author. Hathaway also expressed his appreciation to the other group members, and gratefully acknowledged the support for this project provided by the Fellowship Fund for Pakistan, a charitable trust in Pakistan, and MLResources, LLC.
- The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the national, living memorial honoring President Woodrow Wilson. In providing an essential link between the worlds of ideas and public policy, the Center addresses current and emerging challenges confronting the United States and the world. The Center promotes policy-relevant research and dialogue to increase understanding and enhance the capabilities and knowledge of leaders, citizens, and institutions worldwide. Created by an Act of Congress in 1968, the Center is a non-partisan institution headquartered in Washington, D.C., and supported by both public and private funds.