Foreign aid to Pakistan

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Pakistan receives foreign aid from several countries and international organizations. Since the start of the War in Afghanistan, the majority of the aid comes from the United States via the Coalition Support Fund which is reimbursement to Pakistan for counter-terrorism operations. Foreign aid from America was 299 million in 2020[1]

Education aid[edit]

Pakistan received $649 million in aid for education in 2015, the highest it had received so far. the aid had increased from $586 million in 2014 to $649 million in 2015. The paper also reports that Pakistan received the most aid out of all the countries in Southern Asia, with India just behind receiving $589 million in 2015. The biggest part of the aid to Pakistan was given for basic education. Out of the total $649 million, $371 million or 57.16 per cent was given for basic education.[2]

Election support[edit]

One of the biggest organizations supporting the electoral process in Pakistan is the Election Support Group (ESG). ESG is an internationally supported group of interested parties, made 32 specific recommendations to the Election Commission based on the recommendations of 16 international organizations.[3] A meeting was held in October 2009 to present these ideas to the Commission.[4] The Commission commissioned ESG to provide them with a recommendations on how to best solve the addressed problems.[4]

Saudi Arabia[edit]

In 2013, Saudi Arabian government donated US$1.5 billion to Pakistan to increase its foreign reserves and meet its needs of balance of trade deficit.[5]

United States[edit]

Former US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne W. Patterson addressed senior bureaucrats at the National Management College and emphasised that the United States will assist Pakistan's new democratic government in the areas of development, stability, and security.[6] The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Pakistan, officially announced the signing of an agreement valued at $8.4 million to help ease Pakistan's food crisis.[6] It is also hoped by the United States that Pakistan under the administration of Nawaz Sharif would only strengthen relations between Pakistan and the United States. Since the start of the War in Afghanistan, the majority of the Aid comes from the United States.The Majority of US assistance to Pakistan is from the Coalition Support Fund which is reimbursement "to Pakistan for expenses already incurred and compensation for facilities made available to the coalition forces such as the Shamsi Airfield and Dalbandin air bases by Pakistan as well as $4 billion has been billed to CSF for the training and services provided by American Military and contractors."

Election support[edit]

In 2006, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) implemented a 9 million dollar contract through USAID to install a computerised electoral rolls system for the Pakistani government.[7]

USAID, IFES, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) have also coordinated a number of initiatives to help train election officials in Pakistan.[8] Part of this activity was the establishment of a Federal Election Academy and a library to support the Election Commission of Pakistan.[8]

Financial aid to Pakistan since the 11 September 2001 attacks[edit]

Between 2002–2011, US Congress approved $18 billion[9] in military and economic aid from the United States. However the Pakistan Treasury only received $8.647 billion in direct financial payments.

Western officials have claimed nearly 70% (roughly $3.4 billion) of military aid has been misspent in 2002–2007 and used to cover civilian deficit. However, Pakistan argues the civilian deficit was caused by poor economy from the War on Terror. However U.S-Pakistani relationship has been a transactional based and U.S. military aid to Pakistan and aid conditions has been shrouded in secrecy for several years until recently.[10][11][12] Furthermore, a significant proportion of US economic aid for Pakistan has ended up back in the US, as funds are channelled through large US contractors.[13][14] Pakistan also states it has spent $80 billion on the War on Terror since 2001.[15]

Cuts in aid[edit]

The Kerry Luger Bill passed in 2009 after democratic elections in Pakistan had proposed $1.5 billion in annual assistance to Pakistan.[16] However, due to problems and differences in the bilateral relationship over issues such as drones, India, and the Raymond Davis incident, the full amount was not transferred. Pakistan was promised $1.5 billion annually till 2014, but in the very first year the target was not met. Only $179.5 million out of $1.51 billion in US civilian aid to Pakistan was actually disbursed in fiscal year 2010.[17]


Of the $179.5 million received by Pakistan in 2010, $75 million of the US aid funds were transferred to bolster the Benazir Income Support Program, a social development program run by the Pakistani government. Another $45 million was given to the Higher Education Commission to support "centers of excellence" at Pakistani universities; $19.5 million went to support Pakistan's Fulbright Scholarship program; $23.3 million went to flood relief.[17]

Role of corruption in foreign aid implementation[edit]

Pakistan has faced a significant problem in corruption and it has been detrimental to the country’s economic, political and foreign aid standing. This corruption and a lack of transparency has been viewed as a key obstacle to the effective implementation of U.S. foreign aid in Pakistan. U.S. officials are concerned that a large proportion of the financial aid to Pakistan is being used to pay consulting fees and administration overhead.[18] This was added to by the harassment of workers in the region and a need to pay officials bribes as a means to progress on projects in the region.[18]

The United States officials, as a result of corruption, believe that channeling the aid through Pakistani agencies may lead to a more effective implementation of the foreign aid.[19] Officials further supported this idea as they believe that Pakistani civilian bureaucracies did not have the capacity to be effective aid implementing partners.[19] In addition to internal corruption, reports from Pakistan also suggest that large amounts of foreign aid were being used to fund its war against India and maintain a position of power against their rivals India.[19] As a result, reportedly nearly half of the aid given to Pakistan is being rendered unused due to corruption and the United States believes that altering its method of channeling the aid is the way to improve the implementation.

Security concerns: public perception of U.S. aid[edit]

As a result of security concerns and inability of American aid workers to deliver the aid to certain regions in Pakistan, Pakistani institutions are responsible for a majority of the aid delivery to regions including the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The areas needing the aid have residents that have anti-American sentiment and hence the delivery of any aid containing the American flag or label has led to several extremist attacks and reactions.[20] In 2012, aid organizations including the International Committee of the Red Cross were forced to shut down operations in FATA regions of Pakistan after finding a British national employee had been beheaded as a result of negative perception to aid.[20] The idea that the residents in these areas "don't like America anymore"[20] poses great security risks for aid delivery for the United States and form a roadblock to the effective implementation of the aid in Pakistan. The need to outsource delivery to Pakistan leads to a lack of control and difficulty in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the aid and has been a leading cause of the ineffective implementation of U.S. aid.[citation needed]

Perception Of US aid in Pakistan

Most Pakistani people were not happy[citation needed] about the US aiding the Pakistani government, because view in the streets was that the aid never reached ordinary Pakistanis, who not only suffered the consequences of war on its borders but also never benefited from the aid the US gave due to vast corruption in the government.

Military and economic aid[edit]

Year Military (USD in billions) Economic (USD in billions)
2002 1.36 1.233 for 2002 to 2003
2003 1.577
2004 1.200
2005 1.313 .338
2006 1.260 .539
2007 1.115 .567
2008 1.435 .507
2009 1.689 1.366
2010 1.232 1.409
2011 1.685 known
Total 11.740[21] 6.08[22]

Total aid since independence[edit]

In total, the United States obligated nearly $78.3 billion to Pakistan between 1948 and 2016 (adjusted to 2016 value of dollar).[23][24][25]

United Kingdom[edit]

United Kingdom pledged £665 million to Pakistan from 2009–2013.[26][needs update]

Pakistani proposals for foreign assistance[edit]

Free trade deals[edit]

Pakistan has been trying to negotiate free trade deals with the EU and America as part of Western assistance in war against terror instead of aid. This policy is supported by the Washington-based think tank Center for Global Development[27]

Debt cancellation[edit]

Pakistan has been trying to negotiate debt cancellation. Currently Pakistan spends $6 billion on debt servicing annually.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ Sheikh, Ammar. "Amid global decline, international aid for education in Pakistan increases". The Express Tribune.
  3. ^ International Foundation for Electoral Systems (2009). "Election Support Group". Archived from the original on 18 October 2009. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  4. ^ a b "CEC-ESG discuss Electoral Reforms Recommendations". Islamabad: The Associated Press of Pakistan. 12 October 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  5. ^, APP (15 March 2014). "Dar terms $1.5bn donation a 'gift from friends'". DAWN.COM.
  6. ^ a b "The United States Embassy". Archived from the original on 21 December 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  7. ^ Computerised electoral rolls system installed Archived 28 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine Daily Times (Pakistan), 10 September 2008. Accessed 23 July 2009.
  8. ^ a b Capacity building key to meet modern day challenges, The International News (Pakistan), 14 July 2009. Accessed 7 August 2009.
  9. ^ "The News International: Latest News Breaking, Pakistan News".
  10. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Cite uses generic title (help)
  11. ^ Walsh, Declan (27 February 2008). "Up to 70% of US aid to Pakistan 'misspent'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  12. ^ Rohde, David; Gall, Carlotta; Schmitt, Eric; Sanger, David E. (24 December 2007). "U.S. Officials See Waste in Billions Sent to Pakistan". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  13. ^ "U.S. to channel more aid via Pakistan government". Reuters. 14 April 2010.
  14. ^ Upadhyay, Brajesh (16 May 2008). "US aid 'failing to reach target'". BBC News. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Pakistan: The Kerry Lugar Bill · Global Voices". 14 October 2009.
  17. ^ a b "Should Pakistan Tell US Where to Shove its Aid?".
  18. ^ a b Epstein and Kronstadt 2013, 35
  19. ^ a b c Epstein and Kronstadt 2013, 36
  20. ^ a b c Epstein and Kronstadt 2013, 39
  21. ^
  22. ^ Department of Defense statistics
  23. ^ "Centre for Global development".
  24. ^ "US Inflation Calculator".
  25. ^ "Direct Overt U.S. Aid Appropriations for and Military Reimbursements to Pakistan, FY2002-FY2015" (PDF).
  26. ^ Croft, Adrian. "INTERVIEW - UK Conservatives would step up Pakistan aid effort".
  27. ^ "Pakistan seeking trade, not aid: Gilani". 26 December 2013. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013.

External links[edit]