Pakistan seeks $1.4b in IMF aid to fight coronavirus

Pakistan is in talks with the International Monetary Fund to secure $1.4 billion in aid to fight coronavirus, the government’s economic team said in a joint press conference on Wednesday.

The talks are about to complete. This aid will be in addition to the ongoing $6 billion extended fund facility (bailout) programme signed between the two parties in July, 2019. The Washington-based lender will provide this fresh loan on soft terms.

Other multilateral donors have also provided funds to fight the coronavirus pandemic and its economic implications. The World Bank has approved $1 billion and the Asian Development Bank has approved $1.5 billion. Pakistan will receive $300 million and $600 million immediately from WB and ADB  respectively. The ADB will dispatch the remaining $900 million by June.

The funds Pakistan is receiving now are only for the purpose of fighting COVID-19 and providing relief to the people who are suffering because of it.

Next, Pakistan will also talk to these donors to provide budgetary support to deal with the economic implication of the coronavirus pandemic, which will hurt economic growth and lower the government’s tax collection.

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