USAID programme for Pak makes little headway: Report

An American aid programme worth USD 45 million has failed in its mission, according to the audit, a media report said on Friday.

Updated: Jan 29, 2010, 15:28 PM IST

Washington: An American aid programme worth USD 45 million, which was aimed at improving the ability of Pakistani tribal leaders to govern in the sensitive FATA area along the AfPak border, has failed in its mission, according to the audit, a media report said on Friday.
"The two-year-old development programme for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) was designed to help local authorities and private charities to provide basic services in one of Pakistan`s poorest and most politically unstable territories. So far, only USD 15.5 million has been spent on the initiative," The Washington Post reported.

Being run by Maryland-based Development Alternatives Inc, the ambitious USAID project funds the activities of the FATA development authority, which employs 100 people, and its secretariat, which oversees nearly 30,000 employees, including teachers and health-care workers.

But the "programme has made little headway in achieving its two main goals," according to the audit, the daily said. The project was established in 2008.

"It has not achieved the goal of improving the capacity of FATA governmental institutions to govern," the inspector general was quoted as saying. And it "did not increase the capacities of [local] NGOs to promote good governance, although some progress was made," it said.

"The programme has been plagued by, among other things, a deteriorating security situation that forced Development Alternatives and other American contractors to relocate from Peshawar, where an official with the US Agency for International Development was killed in November 2008, in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad," The Post reported.