ISLAMABAD                     -              Pakistan is likely to receive $1.4 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) within current month (April) as Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI).

The IMF’s Executive Board is scheduled to meet on April 16, to consider Pakistan’s request for $1.4 billion loan under the RFI. Pakistan had requested IMF for additional $1.4 billion through RFI -which provides rapid and low-access financial assistance to member countries facing an urgent balance of payments need, without the need to have a full-fledged program in place.

“We are hopeful that IMF board will approve the additional financing for Pakistan,” said an official of the ministry of finance. He further said that the country would receive the loan within current month if executive board approved it. He clarified that second review report under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with a request for the release of the third tranche under the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility was not on the board’s agenda.

Pakistan had arranged about $4 billion additional financial assistance from multilateral lending and aid agencies to shore up foreign exchange reserves and budgetary support for fighting adverse impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Pakistan had sought $1.4 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and had asked the World Bank for $1 billion assistance, including diversion of unutilised funds for other projects for early disbursement, he said. In addition, the Asian Development Bank would provide $350 million immediately and a request had been made for another $900m disbursement by June this year to meet emerging needs.

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors had already approved a $200 million package to help Pakistan take effective and timely action to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening the country’s national healthcare systems and mitigating socioeconomic disruptions. This support would also draw an extra $38 million from eight existing projects for urgently needed medical equipment and supplies.

Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had already said that IMF was working expeditiously to respond to Pakistan’s request for additional financing of $1.4 billion to increase foreign exchange reserves and budgetary support for fighting adverse impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

She further said that the emergency financing would allow the government to address additional and urgent balance of payments needs and support policies that would make it possible to direct funds swiftly to Pakistan’s most affected sectors, including social protection, daily wage earners, and the healthcare system.