I was on Russia Today (RT) television live yesterday evening discussing how effective I think Obama’s recent $50 million dollar pledge to “reverse anti-American sentiments inside Pakistan” through Pakistani media will be.
As a Bangladeshi, I know firsthand about the hundreds and hundreds of amazing programs USAID has not just in South Asia, but around the world. From population and health to democracy and governance, USAID programs play an instrumental and critical role in the lives of the people they serve. Many Bangladeshis depend directly on some of these programs for their livelihood, or have been lifted out of poverty as a result.
But how effective do we think this $50 million is going to be in changing or influencing US-Pakistan relations? I argue that while USAID and the general good works the US does in Pakistan and around the world definitely deserve exposure, at the end of the day actions speak louder than words.
What do you think?