Obama admin proposes USD 3.1 bn aid for Pak

US President Barack Obama has proposed to Congress a USD 3.1 billion in financial assistance to Pakistan for the year 2012.

Last Updated: Feb 15, 2011, 09:45 AM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama has
proposed to Congress a USD 3.1 billion in financial assistance to Pakistan for the year 2012.

This is part of the Administration`s ongoing effort
towards its continued funding for operations and assistance in
key regions of the world -- Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Of this as many as USD 1.9 billion in assistance has
been proposed 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.

USD 1.5 billion of this is part of the Kerry-Lugar-Berman Bill.

Another USD 45 million has been proposed in operations
to support infrastructure for maintaining the US government
civilian and diplomatic presence and to support educational
and cultural exchange programs to build bridges with civil
society.

"We have USD 350 million in that part of the budget
for FMF (Foreign Military Financing) programs, which is part
of the five-year agreement that we have made with the
government of Pakistan," a State Department official told
reporters.

In addition to USD 1.9 billion, Obama has also
proposed USD 1.2 billion to Pakistan under the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Budget.
This includes USD 1.1 billion for the Pakistan
Counterinsurgency Capability Fund (PCCF) to provide critical
equipment and training for Pakistani security forces,
increasing the ability of the Pakistani government to combat
insurgents inside that country and eliminating the insurgent`s
capacity to conduct cross-border operations in Afghanistan
that jeopardize US lives and the mission there.

In 2010, Pakistan received USD 79 million under OCO
budget, which is estimated to jump to USD 1.3 billion in 2011.

"So the unique part of the budget, the extraordinary
part of the budget is the PCCF. The enduring part of the
budget is more of our economic and military assistance that?s
going to be sustainable over the long term," he said.
An OCO budget is of great help as we transition from
military-led to civilian-led operations since it provides a
mechanism through which we can view and budget for a
transition to a more normal diplomatic presence in these
countries when appropriate, the budgetary proposals said.

PTI