US signs agreements to provide 920 million dollar aid to Pakistan

      Following the passage of the Kerry-Lugar Bill, the United States has signed an agreement with Pakistan to provide 920 million dollar fund to resurrect its health, education, governance and reconstruction sectors. "The agreements bring the total obligations to Pakistan through USAID this year to 920 million dollars," the Daily Times quoted a US embassy statement, as saying. According to a statement, the US would increase resources to sectors that foster economic growth, including the energy sector. The agreements include, direct budget support worth 174 million dollars for the Benazir Income Support Programme, the income support programme for internally displaced persons and assistance to technical and vocational education activities under the Higher Education Commission. "These agreements demonstrate the US commitment to help Pakistan enhance the lives of its citizens through improved delivery of services," Deputy Chief of Mission Gerald Feierstein said. Meanwhile, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry has said that the passage of the Kerry-Lugar Bill authorising 7.5 billion dollars in socio-economic aid for Pakistan highlighted a US commitment to the people of Pakistan. "I am delighted that we were able to forge this landmark piece of legislation on a bipartisan, bicameral basis. It reaffirms America's long-term commitment to the people and government of Pakistan," Kerry said. The bill also stipulates that US military aid would cease if Pakistan does not help fight "terrorists."

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