EU increases financial assistance to Pakistan

March 25th, 2009 - 6:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, March 25 (IANS) The European Union (EU) has increased financial assistance to Pakistan, an EU official said here.
When asked to comment on US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke’s call for the EU to increase economic aid to Pakistan, European Commission (EC) spokesperson for external relations Christiane Hohmann said Tuesday that a week ago the EC announced an increase in assistance to Pakistan to 50 million euro ($67 million) per year between 2007-2010.

“So we have already increased,” she said.

Holbrooke had a lengthy discussion on Afghanistan with EU Commissioner for external relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, in Brussels Monday evening.

Hohmann added that there were plans for a donor conference for Pakistan in Japan in the spring and she hoped that all the donors would continue discussions on it.

Over the five-year period from 2002-2006, the EC provided a total of 125 million euro in development cooperation funding to Pakistan, of which most was spent on education, financial sector reforms and trade development.

Earlier Monday, Holbrooke met NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and ambassadors from troop-contributing nations to Afghanistan.

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