Courtesy: Daily "The News", 20 April 2011
By ANSAR ABBASIISLAMABAD: The international community’s no confidence in what is seen as one of the most corrupt governments in the country’s history is truly reflected in official statistic of foreign assistance for 2010 flood victims with Prime Minister’s Relief Fund getting peanuts i.e. around US$ 21 million from world capitals.
The foreign countries and donors instead preferred to depend on international agencies and non-governmental organizations to ensure that the money donated is properly utilized and is not corrupted by the government, which is rated by foreign agencies as one of the most corrupt regimes in the world.
According to the official statistics the world capitals, with the exception of countries like
Afghanistan and Algeria, have shown little or no trust in the government of Pakistan to assist the more than 20 million flood affectees of 2010.
Such is the credibility of the government that out of total US$697 million assistance that the world capitals have committed to spend through the Government of Pakistan, hardly US$21 million has so far been deposited in the PM’s relief fund. Most of these countries even preferred to help in kind.
The government figures as available on the Finance Ministry’s official website and last updated on January 8, 2011, a total of US$3.042 billion foreign assistance for the flood affectees was committed. Out of this amount US$2.34 billion was committed to be spent through the United Nations or other international agencies and non-governmental organizations whereas the remaining US$696 million was committed to be spent through the Government of Pakistan. The total committed assistance includes a soft loan of US$243 million.
Amongst the major donors, the US committed US$571 million but opted to spend all this amount through international agencies like USAID etc. Not even a single dollar was donated by Washington to PM’s Relief Fund. Britain, which had pledged US$216 million, also did the same and did not contribute even a single penny to Gilani’s account.
The Turkish government committed US$53 million besides raising a total of US$142 million through a fundraiser. Turkey seems to have maximum faith in the prime minister as it contributed the most i.e. US$10 million to PM’s Relief Fund.
The Saudi government has committed US$100 million besides pledging US$23 million on behalf of Saudi Fund for Development and another US$242 million public fund relief raised from the people of Saudi Arabia. Out of this amount of US$365 million, only US$5 million was delivered through National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Japan committed a total of US$519 million but did not give any amount for the PM’s Relief Fund. Iran too committed US$100 million but it too avoided to deposit any amount in the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
After Turkey, which contributed US$10 million to the PM’s Relief Fund, the Asian Development Bank was a major contributor to the same fund with US$3 million contribution. Afghanistan gave US$2 million for the PM’s Relief Fund and emerged as the third largest foreign contributor having faith in the government’s fund.
Other countries, which contributed to the PM fund include Algeria with US$1 million; Bhutan with US$0.10 million; Brunei with US$0.73 million; Indonesia US$1.7 million; Korean private sector companies US$0.94 million; Maldivian philanthropists US$0.27million; Morocco US$1 million etc.
Note: The viewpoint expressed in this article is solely that of the writer. "FATA Awareness Initiative" Team may not agree with the opinion presented........................
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"FATA Awareness Initiative" Team.