The UK’s development assistance to Pakistan is expected to more than double between 2011 and 2015, meaning Pakistan will become the UK’s biggest aid recipient (almost £450 million per year by 2015). Some 60 million people in Pakistan (one in three) live in poverty and regularly go hungry. Pakistan has 12 million out-of-school children and half of all adults, including two of every three women, cannot read nor write.
However, Pakistan’s status as the potential largest recipient of UK aid is controversial, given its unstable political situation, large defence budget, activities of the military and intelligence services, level of corruption and tax avoidance, and position as a middle-income country. The UK Government says the increase in UK aid is conditional on the Government of Pakistan’s own progress on reform at the federal and provincial levels, strengthening the country’s tax base and tackling corruption.
The Committee will examine whether the significant increase in UK aid to Pakistan is justified and whether the Government of Pakistan is taking the necessary reforms required by the UK Government. In particular, interested parties are invited to submit evidence on some or all of the following:
• The political context:
How far the increase in aid to Pakistan is driven by political and security considerations, including the impact of terrorism on the people of Pakistan;
Whether the Government of Pakistan is taking the necessary reforms in governance, tax collection and corruption and whether people linked to official Pakistan institutions are supporting and/or providing safe haven for insurgents including the Taliban and seeking to undermine the Government in Afghanistan;
How the UK Government should decide whether progress in making reforms is sufficient to justify the increase;
DFID’s work with other UK Government departments in respect of Pakistan; and the role of the National Security Council.
• DFID’s programme:
The appropriateness of DFID’s programme and Operational Plan for the development needs of Pakistan, in particular in its main proposed areas of expenditure: education; governance and security; reproductive, maternal and newborn health; wealth creation; poverty and hunger; and humanitarian;
Whether DFID is adequately addressing the needs and rights of women;
Whether DFID can ensure that such large levels of ODA can deliver impact in measurable outcomes and not be misappropriated;
DFID’s implementation of the recommendations of the Committee’s Report on The Humanitarian Response to the Pakistan Floods (2011);
The impact of political instability within Pakistan, and the political relations between US, UK and the Government of Pakistan, on the work of DFID and other development actors;
The ability of NGOs and other development actors to operate effectively.
• The performance of the key multilateral agencies in Pakistan, including the World Bank, United Nations and European Union and the effectiveness of DFID’s co-ordination with them and other bilateral donors.
The Committee invites submissions on Pakistan. The deadline for submitting written evidence is Tuesday 9 October 2012.
Written evidence submitted should:
Be no longer that 3000 words in length
• Have numbered paragraphs
• Avoid the use of colour or expensive-to-print material
• Be provided electronically in MS Word or Rich Text format (No PDF’s) by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. If submitted by e-mail or e-mail attachment, a letter should also be sent validating the e-mail. The letterhead should contain your full postal address and contact details
Submissions can also be sent by post to International Development Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA.
View guidance on giving evidence to Select Committees.
Please also note that:
• Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within written evidence, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included. If a number of published documents are sent to accompany written evidence, these should be listed in the covering email.
• Written evidence submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organisation submitting it is specifically authorised.
• Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
• It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
• Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.