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US approves $1 billion aid to Pakistan for 2013

Source: PTI
May 23, 2012 10:14 IST
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A key United States Senate sub-committee has approved $1 billion aid to Pakistan for the fiscal year 2013.

The $52.1 billion Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Bill for the year 2103 was passed by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, during its meeting on Tuesday.

In a statement, the sub-committee said the bill includes a total of $ 1 billion for Pakistan, $184 million was for Department of State operations, $800.3 million for foreign assistance, including $ 50 million for the Pakistan Counterinsurgency Capability Fund.

"Conditions on assistance, similar to those in prior fiscal years, are continued," the statement said.

The bill also includes a total of $3.5 billion for Afghanistan, of which $1.6 billion is for Department of State operations; $1.6 billion for foreign assistance; and $ 49.9 million in Overseas Contingency Operations is recommended for the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

Chairman of the Subcommittee Senator Patrick Leahy, in a statement, said the bill totals $52.1 billion, which is $2.6 billion below the President's budget request, and $1.2 billion below the Fiscal Year 2012 level.

"Because Iraqi police training programme has not progressed as hoped, and our relations with Pakistan have been stalled for months, (ranking Member) Senator (Lindsey) Graham and I have not used $881 million that full Committee initially recommended for the Subcommittee. That is money we are saving the taxpayers," he said.

"This is a bipartisan bill that addresses the priorities of Senators of both parties. To get there, Ranking Member Lindsey Graham and I have each made compromises. There are some things in the bill that he does not like, and the same goes for me," he said.

The bill also includes $8.4 billion for Global Health Programs, of which $2.9 billion is for USAID health programs, and $ 5.6 billion for the Department of State.

Of the total, $5.9 billion is for HIV/AIDS programs, including $1.65 billion for a US contribution to the Global Fund; $265 million to combat tuberculosis; $650million to combat malaria; $655 million for Maternal and Child Health; $700 million for Family Planning and Reproductive Health (from all accounts in the bill); and $75 million is for pandemic influenza and other emerging threats.

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