Obama seeks $3.1 bn aid for Pakistan to defeat Al Qaeda

Last Updated: Mon, Feb 01, 2010 21:23 hrs

Washington: US President Barack Obama has sought $3.1 billion in non-military aid for Pakistan and $4.0 billion for Afghanistan 'to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al Qaeda' by better 'governance, reconstruction, and other development activities to counter extremists'.

The non-military assistance is in addition to almost $30 billion more proposed for the wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq with $548.9 billion outlay for defence in Obama's record $3.8 trillion budget for 2011 sent to the US Congress on Monday.

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The non-military aid is part of $56.8 billion outlay proposed for the State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and other international programmes 'to advance the interests of the United States through engagement, partnership, and the promotion of universal values' .

'In addition, funding is provided for ongoing support, logistics and security for the existing US Missions in Afghanistan and Pakistan and new funding is provided to support over 500 additional civilian staff in Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to execute the President's strategy,' the White House said.

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Obama also sought $4.5 billion supplemental funds for fiscal 2010 'to advance the President's strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan and to help facilitate the military-to-civilian transition in Iraq.'

The budget also set 'high-performance' goals for the State Department including strengthening 'Afghanistan's and Pakistan's capacity to effectively provide services to citizens and enhance the long-term sustainability of development efforts...'

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