UK announces Â£60m aid for NWFP, FATA
ISLAMABAD: The United Kingdom has announced a Â£60 million assistance to help normalise the lives of over 2 million conflict-affected people in the NWFP and FATA.
International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander made the announcement in UK a couple of days ago, however, Department for International Development (DFID) chief George Turkington briefed the media on the details of the disbursement strategy and the number of beneficiaries at the British High Commission, Pakistan on Tuesday. The recent financial support came in the backdrop of the UK-Pakistan strategic dialogue launched by the president and prime minister of Pakistan in May 2009, after which the UK announced it would provide Pakistan with Â£665 million from 2009 to 2013 for good governance, economic development, provision of security and the tackling of terrorism.
Out of the announced assistance, Â£10 million would be released immediately to the Multi Donor Trust Fund being managed by the World Bank, while the transfer of additional Â£20 million is subject to good performance. Another Â£20 million will be provided under the Pakistan Humanitarian Response Plan, 2010 launched in February 2010, which requires $537 million from donors to meet the immediate needs of the war-affected population. Prior approval for each project of the PHRP is required from the provincial disaster management authority (PDMA) and provincial reconstruction, rehabilitation and settlement authority (PaRRSA) respectively.
The government has insisted the donor community to minimise the role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as implementing agencies and to spend the funds through government departments instead. Every NGO working on the ground needs a no-objection certificate (NOC) from PDMA/ PaRRSA. It is learnt that some NGOs could not manage to get permission to access the area they wanted to work in.
Speaking on the occasion, George Turkington said the working relationship between the Pakistani government and the DFID was very good. The situation is not perfect in Pakistan, and we are committed to working alongside the international community to support the Pakistani government in its efforts towards providing economic opportunities, access to justice and freedom from conflict and fear to the people in crises-affected border areas, he said.
Source: Daily Times