Tomorrow (September 10th), my colleague Nancy Birdsall and I will attend an event about “Pakistan Elections and Regional Stability: How Foreign Assistance Can Help”. There are two keynote speakers and Nancy will be speaking on the panel, which should generate a great discussion about Pakistan’s recent civilian election, US interests in the country, and the significant flows of foreign assistance the US government has authorized for economic and military assistance. We hope it sparks renewed interest in formalizing a strategic dialogue on development, a focused discussion about how the United States and Pakistan can best work together to address Pakistan’s daunting development challenges.
CGD staff have written a lot about these topics over the years as part of CGD’s initiative on the US Development Strategy in Pakistan. See here for a short note about US development assistance to Pakistan, and here and here for two longer reports (2012 and 2011) that discuss and assess how we are doing (spoiler alert: as our 2012 report card shows, the results are mixed).
All of this is important background for tomorrow’s event, but one especially relevant question remains: just how much assistance are we talking about? To answer that question, I’ll refer you to CGD’s newly updated “Aid to Pakistan By the Numbers” page. A teaser for some of the questions it tries to answer:
· How much foreign assistance has the United States obligated to Pakistan for the last 60 years?
· How has US economic assistance been allocated? How has it actually been spent?
· How does assistance levels to Pakistan compare to other initiatives and other countries?
· How much are other donors contributing in Pakistan?
Some of these answers are a bit slippery to pin down (although transparency into the figures has improved with the launch of the Foreign Assistance Dashboard), but I have taken a crack at it. Have a look, send along your thoughts and comments, and for the uber-interested: attend the event at the Atlantic Council and join in the discussion! We look forward to hearing from you.