The economic challenges as a result of the coronavirus are multifarious, which is why developing countries are looking to international lending agencies to fill the gaps, where necessary. Pakistan is one such example where both the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), have released funds to help tackle the situation, especially as business activity in the country has come to a standstill due to the lockdown. $1.4billion has been released by the IMF through the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), whereas, $1.7 billion has been approved by the ADB. This will boost the economy of Pakistan and keep the cycle running because no economic plans are being pursued at this time due to hindrances in the process and all efforts are being dedicated to providing relief efforts to the population.

Pakistan cannot function without these loans at this point. A country already drowning in debt and having difficulties with revenue collection cannot rely solely on our own means to help sustain the economy during this trying time. However, these loans will add to the burden once the business cycle renews. Pakistan will have to pay back these loans and within a stipulated timeframe once this pandemic has passed. The government needs to have a concrete plan if these loans are not waived off, and find domestic means to not only sustain the business cycle but to also be able to pay back these international loans.

At this point, it is important for the government and the Foreign Office (FO) to pursue the agenda of waiving off loans for developing countries. Such a narrative is currently likely to resonate more because the virus is affecting the global economy as well and it is through collective efforts and decision making that we can prevent disrupted financial systems after things normalise.