The International Monetary Fund (IMF) board has approved the seventh and eighth reviews of Pakistan’s bailout programme, which will result in the release $1.17 billion in funds to the cash-strapped country.
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said the IMF had also agreed to extend the programme by a year and augment the funds by $1 billion.
The funds will be a lifeline to Pakistan, currently suffering from devastating floods, whose foreign exchange reserves have fallen to levels that cover only a month of exports and whose economy has wrangled with a massive current account deficit and high inflation.
Pakistan’s 36-month, $6 billion Extended Fund Facility programme, which it entered in 2019, has been stalled since earlier this year as it struggled to meet targets set by the lender.
The go-ahead from the IMF board will open other multilateral and bilateral avenues of funding for Pakistan, which were awaiting a clean bill of health from the lender.
Sri Lanka is also currently holding discussions with the IMF to agree on a staff-level agreement and obtain a bailout package