UK to increase aid to Pakistan to £133m from next financial year

Stacks of British pound sterling banknotes are stacked at the headquarters of the Money Service Austria company on November 16, 2017 in Vienna, Austria.  - Reuters
Stacks of British pound sterling banknotes are stacked at the headquarters of the Money Service Austria company on November 16, 2017 in Vienna, Austria. – Reuters
  • Official Development Assistance will be spent mostly on Pakistan’s climate mitigation needs.
  • The objectives of the aid are governance structures, health, education and family planning.
  • The British envoy says, “We call on Islamabad to continue structural and other economic reforms.”

Islamabad: The United Kingdom has decided to triple Pakistan’s financial aid from the next financial year 2024-2025, increasing it from the current £41.5 million to around £133 million annually.

Joe Moir, head of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in Pakistan news The majority of the provisional enhancement support will be used in various sectors, but the Official Development Assistance (ODA) will be spent mostly on Pakistan’s climate mitigation needs.

“We are glad that Pakistan and… [International Monetary Fund] The IMF has agreed to a new deal under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) programme, which will help Islamabad achieve debt stability during the program period.

“We ask Islamabad to continue structural and other Financial improvementImproving governance, especially in state-owned entities. “Pakistan looks to be negotiating a new program once the existing arrangement is complete,” Moir said in an exclusive one-hour interview at the UK High Commission in Islamabad’s diplomatic enclave on Monday.

The British envoy discussed various economic, social and developmental issues facing Pakistan and said that she is looking forward to her assignment in Islamabad from last September 2022. The hospitality of the people of Pakistan has impressed him.

He said Britain’s first female High Commissioner Jane Marriott will take up her assignment in Islamabad in early August 2023 as she served in Kenya before taking up the new assignment in Pakistan.

On the more than three-fold increase in financial aid, the head of the FCDO in Pakistan pointed out that it would be difficult to share the exact numbers as the UK plans to increase the aid share to 0.7% of gross domestic product (GDP), so it is temporary. Funding is expected to increase from the current £41.5 million in the current financial year 2023-24 to approximately £133 million in the next financial year 2024-25.

He said Britain is going to publish a development strategy for aid recipient countries, including Pakistan, after a period of five years. Assistance strategy is in the process of change under which FCDO with more than 60 years of experience will change the traditional way of development.

“Under the new development strategy, the UK will focus more on helping Pakistan address structural issues, population growth, unlocking the potential of the private sector to achieve higher growth, and mitigating the negative effects of climate change,” he added.

He said there would be four major goals, including improving human capital, providing technical assistance to the governance structure, health and education sectors, as well as ensuring family planning with the help of better coordination between the federal and provincial governments. ,

Under the objective of the second goal, he said climate response and adaptation to disasters and BISP would be used to reach out to the affected people in the event of any disaster. He said that water administration will also be improved.

Responding to a question about the water pricing mechanism, he said he was not aware of any recommendation from their end, but the overall efficiency of water use would be improved. The third goal would be to achieve an open society and improve the effectiveness of government institutions. It will also focus on overcoming gender-based violence and women empowerment.

He said that the fourth goal would be to focus on the economy and trade and said that FCDO supports it International Monetary Fund Program in which efforts will be made to generate more revenue and cut expenditure in order to keep the budget within the agreed framework.

“The private sector and green financing will help Pakistan achieve high and sustainable growth,” he said.

On another question about the reduction in population growth after devolution of power as a result of the 18th amendment, he said the UK’s development aid will work closely with the Council of Common Interest (CCI) to work closely with the federal government. and provincial governments.

As for the education sector, they said they were aware that more than 22 million children were out of school, and there were some estimates that the number had risen to 3.5 million after the last devastating floods.

He reminded that there may be some children who may have gone back to school, but access to education is still a problem Pakistan faces.

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