Dissent Channel: USAID/Pakistan Program

090914-A-3715G-187Image by jim.greenhill via Flickr

This Pakistani woman is using a sewing machine
that was provided by USAID
Photo USAID/Pakistan

Ken Dilanian of USA TODAY (October 12, 2009) has a piece on possibly the first, and certainly the first publicly reported dissent on the USAID program in Pakistan. He writes:

“Special representative Richard Holbrooke‘s bid to rapidly shift U.S. aid from American contractors to local Pakistani organizations will “seriously compromise” the effort to stabilize Pakistan, a U.S. diplomat says in a “dissent channel” message to senior State Department officials.”

Pakistan’s government also has complained about the use of U.S. companies to run aid programs, and USA TODAY reported Oct. 2 that Holbrooke has been moving to overhaul the aid regime so that more of the money goes to the Pakistani government and local organizations.

The problem — according to the memo by C. Stuart Callison, an economist with the U.S. Agency for International Development — is that Holbrooke is canceling successful programs run by U.S. contractors and preparing to bypass them by giving large sums to local organizations with shaky financial track records.

Dr. C. Stuart Callison is a Sr. Development Economist in USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade, Office of Economic Growth.

Read the whole thing here.

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