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Cablegate: Netherlands: Support for Pakistan

VZCZCXRO9881
RR RUEHAT
DE RUEHTC #0640 2991156
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 261156Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3408
INFO RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 1064
RUEHAT/AMCONSUL AMSTERDAM 4272
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS 0700

UNCLAS THE HAGUE 000640

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SRAP - INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIP TEAM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID EFIN AF PAK NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS: SUPPORT FOR PAKISTAN

REF: STATE 108183

1. Econoff delivered reftel points to Hidde Baars, Policy
Officer for Pakistan at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(MFA). Baars confirmed that the Government of the
Netherlands (GONL) officially joined the Friends of
Democratic Pakistan and pledged 86 million euro (USD 126.9
million) at the Tokyo Donors Conference in April. This
amount is for the period 2009-2011; of that, the GONL has
already spent 35 million euro (USD 51.6 million) this year.
Baars noted that the GONL may pledge additional funds for
Pakistan next year, but this is highly uncertain. The GONL
is facing a rising budget deficit, and the MFA (like all
ministries) must make substantial spending cuts, including to
its development budget. Baars said that the 86 million euro
is guaranteed for Pakistan through 2011; the MFA will decide
next year whether to commit additional funds.

2. While it recognizes the Government of Pakistan,s budget
pressures, the GONL maintains a policy of not providing
direct budget support to Pakistan, citing a continued lack of
transparency and accountability. Instead, the GONL channels
about two-thirds of its assistance through the Dutch Embassy
in Islamabad to local and international NGOs for a range of
projects in-country. The GONL channels roughly one-third of
its assistance to Pakistan through multilateral development
institutions (primarily the World Bank), but this ratio could
increase if the security situation deteriorates and/or NGOs
are unable to conduct viable projects. The GONL,s three
priority areas for development assistance to Pakistan (those
in which the GONL believes it can add the most value) are:
(1) education, (2) good governance and human rights, and (3)
environment and water. Baars noted that these are "soft
programs," but ones that the GONL conducts in risky areas.
It has a program with UNICEF, for example, to educate
traumatized children in the dangerous Malakand region.
LEVIN

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