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Working ‘expeditiously’ to respond to Pakistan’s emergency coronavirus loan request: IMF

Working ‘expeditiously’ to respond to Pakistan’s emergency coronavirus loan request: IMF

ISLAMABAD: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Friday said the Fund’s team is working expeditiously to respond to Pakistan’s request for disbursement of an emergency loan to help it fight coronavirus.

She said the Government of Pakistan requested financial assistance under the Fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to contain the spread of the virus and provide financial support to affected families and businesses, according to a statement.

“The authorities have continued their reform efforts to address Pakistan’s economic challenges, but progress is being threatened by the devastating effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and the deterioration in global economic and financial conditions,” the statement read.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government have swiftly approved an economic stimulus package aimed at containing the spread of the virus and providing support to affected families and businesses, it said.

Similarly, the statement added, the State Bank of Pakistan has adopted a timely set of measures, including a lowering of the policy rate, new refinancing facilities to support the flow of credit, and temporary regulatory relief measures.

“In parallel, the authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to the reform policies included in the current arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). These reforms are crucial to boost Pakistan’s growth potential to deliver broad based benefits for all Pakistanis, especially the most vulnerable segments of the population.

“The Fund stands ready to continue to support the authorities’ efforts to implement much-needed economic and structural reforms aimed at fostering strong and sustainable growth.”