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Through the course of our work on a U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan over the past year, anytime anyone asked us who we were trying to reach, whom we hoped to influence, our answer started with one name: Richard Holbrooke.
Later this month, world leaders will meet at the UN in New York City to discuss accomplishments and challenges to meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 target. While their discussions will cover a range of topics and strategies, summit participants should remember the importance of trade as a development tool.
Trade preference programs can encourage investment, promote prosperity and ultimately reduce poverty in the world’s least developed countries.
It was gratifying to see no less of a distinguished trio than Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, USAID administrator Rajiv Shah and George Soros acknowledge this week the connection between climate change and natural disasters such as the current devastating flood in Pakistan.
At CGD, we normally conduct research and analysis on development issues (trade, aid effectiveness, climate change, global health), not developing countries. Pakistan is an exception. Motivated by national security interests, the Obama administration is poised to triple its development assistance to Pakistan. The effectiveness of this new U.S. assistance is imperiled by the same governance problems that have undermined the billions spent by the U.S. and other donors in the last 30 years. Given these challenges, how can the new pledges of U.S. aid to Pakistan be implemented effectively, and what, if any, other policy or program initiatives might matter?
To address these questions, we recently launched a new CGD initiative on the U.S. development strategy in Pakistan. As part of this initiative we have convened a study group, comprising leading experts in development economics, national security, aid effectiveness and including several prominent Pakistanis. The study group will meet regularly over the next year to help us prepare periodic open letters to the administration commenting on and hopefully helping improve the assistance program, as well as trade and other U.S. policies aimed at greater security, stability and prosperity in Pakistan.