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CGD in the News

Mend Aid Program, Don't End It, Says Study (IPS)

June 1, 2011

President Nancy Birdsall and senior policy analyst Molly Kinder were featured in a IPS article about CGD's report on aid to Pakistan.

From the Article

Amid a spate of calls by U.S. lawmakers to slash aid to Pakistan in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden's death, an influential think tank is calling for greater patience, precision, transparency and humility in implementing Washington's 1.5-billion-dollar-a-year development aid programme.

"Mend it; don't end it," said Molly Kinder, the project director of a blue-ribbon study group convened last year by the Center for Global Development (CGD) which released the 40-page report at its headquarters here Wednesday.

The report, "Beyond Bullets and Bombs: Fixing the U.S. Approach to Development in Pakistan," nonetheless calls for major changes in Washington's approach to development assistance to the South Asian country, beginning with its separation from Washington's development efforts in neighbouring Afghanistan and from its military and security assistance programme in Pakistan itself.

In addition, it urges that the administration of President Barack Obama appoint one person to be in charge of the U.S. aid programme in Pakistan; set up a website with regularly updated information about aid disbursements; hire more senior-level Pakistan staff to administer the aid and engage more with local civil society leaders to help design it; and resist pressure to spend the money too quickly.

The report also urged the administration and Congress to approve new legislation that would spur private investment and enterprise in Pakistan by, among other measures, extending duty-free access to U.S. markets for all Pakistani exports, including textiles, and offering credit and new forms of risk insurance for both foreign and domestic companies that want to invest there.

"While effective aid is essential for strengthening public sector institutions in Pakistan, a strong private sector will play a far greater role in Pakistan's transition toward prosperity and stability," according to the study group, which was chaired by CGD President Nancy Birdsall and included nearly two dozen development and South Asia experts.

Read it Here.

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Photo of Nancy Birdsall
Senior Fellow, President Emeritus