Pakistan will receive $500 million interest-free credit approved Thursday by World Bank before the end of March in an encouraging sign for the country's economic stabilization effort. The transfer will take place before March 31, bolstering Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves as well as enhancing international investor confidence in the drive to put the economy back on high growth track, officials told here Friday. The targeted project - Poverty Reduction and Economic Support Operation - is designed to support the Pakistani government's policy measures that promote macroeconomic stability. It seeks to benefit the poor people and is also expected to strengthen Pakistan's competitiveness by spurring the financial sector. Pakistan's ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani had an extensive meeting with World Bank President Robert Zoellick in Washington last week. The World Bank chief assured the top Pakistani diplomat of his support and the financial institution's stepped up participation in the economic development of the country, whose stability is considered key to South Asian peace and security. The agreement, inked Thursday on $500 million credit by Economic Minister at the Pakistani embassy in Washington Abdul Wajid Rana, comes about three weeks ahead of an important Friends of Pakistan meeting in Japan.