WASHINGTON - The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday approved a $1.2 billion tranche for Pakistan as the Fund completed economic performance review for the country. The IMF bailed out Pakistan in 2008 to avert a balance of payments crisis that, allied to budget and political concerns, had undermined investors' faith in a country central to U.S. efforts to confront al Qaeda and settle a volatile region. Along with the IMF help, Pakistan was promised $5.7 billion in aid over two years at a Friends of Democratic Pakistan conference in April, but only a fraction of the funds has arrived as donors demand Pakistan follow through on reforms. "The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the third review of Pakistans economic performance under a program supported by a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). The completion of the review enables the immediate disbursement of an amount equivalent to SDR 766.7 million (about US$1.2 billion), bringing total disbursements under the program to an amount equivalent to SDR 4.17 billion (about US$6.54 billion)," an IMF statement said. The Executive Board of the Fund also approved Pakistans request for a waiver for the non-observance of the end-September performance criterion on the ceiling of the overall budget deficit, which was missed by a margin of 0.3 percent of GDP. The 23-month SBA in an amount equivalent to SDR 5.17 billion (about US$8.11 billion) was approved on November 24, 2008. On August 7, 2009, the SBA was augmented to an amount equivalent to SDR 7.24 billion (about US$11.35 billion) and extended to end 2010. The economic performance review came as Pakistan officials sought to keep funds flowing from its $11.3 billion aid deal, and the IMF said that with the newest disbursement the total paid out had reached about $6.54 billion. The Fund said in November that Pakistan's economy was showing signs of recovery although it noted that risks remained. Pakistani officials said the IMF's concerns centered on the country's security situation, along with poor tax collection and sluggish donor aid.