U.S. taxpayers are going to pay for equipment and furniture for 115 schools in Pakistan—and unlike most other federal programs, companies from the United States are not allowed to compete for contracts stemming from this initiative, U.S. Trade & Aid Monitor has discovered.
Data about this project became available almost simultaneously with U.S. Secy. of State Hillary Clinton's warning to Pakistani officials that they could "pay a very big price" for failing to take decisive action against insurgent havens in that nation.
Clinton issued that threat on Oct. 20; similarly, according to a Request for Proposals (see #SOL-391-12-000001), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on that same day called on Pakistani companies to submit bids for the Malakand Reconstruction and Recovery Program (MRRP), as it is known.
That RFP explicitly pointed out that contracts for the initiative are for “Local Pakistani Organizations Only.”
The 115 targeted facilities, all which have undergone reconstruction in the conflict-affected districts in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, “are of various levels including primary, middle, high and higher secondary,” USAID says in the RFP.
Requirements include, but are not limited to:
- 23,000 student bags
- 14,939 student benches
- 14,939 student desks
- 740 teacher tables
- 740 teacher chairs
- 916 science- and math-equipment cupboards
The project is slated to begin in December and conclude in June 2013. USAID did not disclose the endeavor’s estimated price tag.
FOR ADDITIONAL REGIONAL COVERAGE, SEE THE MONITOR'S PAKISTAN PAGE.