A stable, secure, democratic Pakistan with a vibrant economy is in the national interest of the United States and Pakistan. The U.S. has demonstrated a strong and continued commitment to Pakistan through the Kerry Lugar Berman Act. Since 2009, the U.S. government has disbursed over $4 billion in civilian assistance in partnership with the Government of Pakistan (GOP), civil society, and private sector institutions.
USAID programs in Pakistan focus on five key areas: energy, economic growth, governance and stabilization, education, and health. All efforts incorporate two crosscutting themes—good governance and gender equality. An array of partnerships with the Government of Pakistan, the private sector, and Pakistani civil society helps ensure that assistance programs are aligned with local priorities and build local capacity. USAID develops legacy institutions and transformational partnerships and practices to ensure that assistance impact is sustained beyond the time period of our programs.
To alleviate Pakistan’s energy crisis, USAID helps to increase the energy production, improve the efficient use of energy, and promote reforms to enable the power sector to function more efficiently. To date, the U.S. government through USAID has spent more than $800 million in energy sector assistance to Pakistan, thus adding more than 1000 megawatts of power to Pakistan’s electricity grids and providing electricity for more than 11 million Pakistanis USAID has worked in all nine of Pakistan’s electric distribution companies (DISCOs) to support their transformation from inefficient and poorly managed companies into effective organizations. As a result of these efforts, revenues at the DISCOs’ have increased by $119 million and have saved 110 MW of power. Assistance also strengthens governance of the power sector institutions, develops new policies to rationalize pricing, support tariff reforms, and supports the GOP efforts to reduce subsidies. In addition, USAID has been supporting the GOP’s efforts to increase its supply of natural gas, both from LNG sources and from shale gas.
USAID economic growth programs help to secure a self-sustaining future for Pakistan by increasing incomes and employment, nurturing competitive enterprises and regional trade, and creating more rewarding business opportunities, especially for women. Activities focus on private sector development, and small and medium enterprises, especially in agriculture and related industries. USAID helps to boost Pakistan’s agricultural productivity by increasing irrigation and introducing improved technologies and water management practices. USAID has financed irrigation of more than 370,000 acres of farmland in Pakistan, which has increased the incomes of more than 800,000 farmers. The goal is to irrigate one million acres by 2016. The United States also helps Pakistan’s agribusinesses access financing, form partnerships, and tap into more lucrative markets.
With a troubled history, violent domestic and regional conflicts and sustained internal political and administrative challenges, many areas in Pakistan suffer from limited economic opportunities, the absence of essential services and challenged access to good governance and justice. These dynamics serve as engines of instability. Addressing these challenges is key to combating extremism. USAID‘s activities support Pakistan’s efforts to extend the writ of government, improve governance, deliver essential services, and expand economic opportunity in unstable areas. To do this, USAID has addressed community needs and priorities in focus areas and worked with GoP partners to deliver 1,413 drinking water systems, improve irrigation for more than 500,000 acres, build 119 km of flood or retaining walls, rehabilitate 318 schools, and build or rehabilitate over 1,000 km of roads and highways (built or under development), and renovate power grids (42 villages electrified, 20 for the first time). Resolving grievances has been improved by building citizens’ capacity to effectively and peacefully advocate their concerns through representative groups and by helping to ensure the transparent, accountable and just administration of government. Survival, recovery and restoration of productive capacity following natural and man-made disasters, as well as conflict, are addressed by USAID’s support of the World Food Program through Food for Peace (FFP) and the work of USAID’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
The United States and Pakistan have a shared interest in ensuring that Pakistan has an educated population prepared to enter the workforce. To achieve this, working in close collaboration with the federal and provincial governments, USAID launched the Pakistan Reading Project to improve the reading level of 3.2 million children across Pakistan and introduce policy reforms to ensure sustainability of USG supported initiatives. USAID has also built or rehabilitated more than 600 schools serving an estimated 86,000 children. In addition, USAID is constructing 16 state-of-art faculty education buildings throughout Pakistan. The United States also supported the development of university degree programs for future teachers, benefiting more than 10,000 teachers and school administrators. Higher education remains at the core of USAID’s efforts in the education sector. Focusing on scholarships and scientific research, 2,300 students will be sent to Pakistani universities through the Pakistan-U.S. Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Program. At least 50% of those talented and low income students will be female. USAID Pakistan also funds the largest Fulbright Scholarship Program in the world enabling another 12,000 students to attend universities in the United States.
A healthy productive population is critical to ensuring Pakistan’s future stability and economic growth. Pakistan‘s current population growth rate is straining its ability to provide its citizens with electricity, employment and education. USAID is working in partnership with the public and private sectors to improve the quality of health care services and expand access to populations without health care. Particular attention is being placed on reducing maternal and child mortality. In June 2013, USAID launched a multi-million dollar integrated Maternal and Child Health Program focusing on interventions proven to improve maternal and child survival. These include quality family planning and reproductive health services; maternal, newborn and child health services; a reliable supply of contraceptives; health communication to promote behavior change, and raise awareness and demand for quality health care; and health systems strengthening to help ensure sustainability. Additional U.S. Government support to Pakistan includes the construction of an obstetrics/gynecology ward and training center at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center in Karachi. This will soon be complemented by a new $6 million maternity ward at the same location, as well as a new $10 million Institute of Medical Sciences in Jacobabad. The Jacobabad facility will improve health services for residents of northern Sindh, southern Punjab, and eastern Baluchistan.
USAID integrates gender equality and women’s empowerment into all of its programming in Pakistan to increase opportunities for women’s participation in the labor force, expand girls’ access to quality basic education, improve maternal and child health, and promote women’s rights in political, economic, and social realms. In the planning stage of all new projects, USAID/Pakistan conducts a gender analysis to identify opportunities to engage with women. To increase female empowerment and participation, USAID also implements specific rights-based interventions to reduce gender-based discrimination and violence.
Last updated: February 23, 2015