The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a financial aid of $1.386 billion to Pakistan as part of their Rapid Financing Instrument to help Pakistan with the impact that the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s economy.
Experts have voiced concern over the fact that Pakistan may be one of the countries to be worst affect by the coronavirus pandemic due to the shortage of medical infrastructure and populated cities.
Under their Rapid Financing Instrument, IMF is providing Pakistan with a $1.386 billion aid which does not require a full reform and review.
The international lender has said in a statement:
While uncertainty remains high, the near-term economic impact of COVID-19 is expected to be significant, giving rise to large fiscal and external financing needs,
To try and curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Federal and Provincial governments have placed strict lockdown closing most non-essential businesses although few exceptions exist.
IMF first deputy managing director Geoffery Okamoto said:
The domestic containment measures, coupled with the global downturn, are severely affecting growth and straining external financing,
This has created an urgent balance of payments need,
The Washington based organization has lauded the Government of Pakistan in their efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic and the increase in spending on public health and social safety initiatives that have been taken including measures taken by the State Bank of Pakistan.
Okamoto said in this regard:
In response to the crisis, the government of Pakistan has taken swift action to halt the community spread of the virus and introduced an economic stimulus package aimed at accommodating the spending needed to tackle the health emergency and supporting economic activity. Crucially, the authorities are increasing public health spending and strengthening social safety net programs to provide immediate relief to the most vulnerable,
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also said on Thursday that the IMF has decided to give a one year debt relief to Pakistan to help the country overcome he coronavirus pandemic.