Gilani opposes US aid disbursement through NGOs

Monday, September 7, 2009

ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the US should channelise its financial assistance to Pakistan through the government’s existing mechanism, since third-party disbursement through non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or other agencies involves disproportionate administrative expenses.

Talking to US Deputy Secretary of State for Resources and Management Jacob J Lew and USAID acting administrator Alouso L Fulgham at Prime Minister’s House, he said that going through a third party raises expenses, sometimes by as much as 35 to 40 percent, reducing the amount of funds available for public welfare.

Gilani suggested that Lew hold detailed meetings with the Ministry of Finance to work out a mutually agreeable process of disbursing the financial assistance.

He pointed out that the Benazir Income Support Programme, Higher Education Commission and the existing basic education and healthcare systems in Pakistan should be considered for the US assistance in the sectors of poverty alleviation, education and healthcare.

Gilani emphasised the importance of the energy sector, calling it his government’s top priority, the Daily Times reported.

He called on the US government to help Pakistan in specific energy projects by mobilising investment to fulfil the power sector’s requirements.

Congratulating the government on the successful operation in Swat and Malakand, the US official assured Gilani of Washington’s full support. (ANI)

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