The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is seeking further assurances from Pakistan, despite confirmation of financial assistance from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to ensure that Pakistan has met the condition of arranging $6 billion financing in order to reach a staff-level agreement.

Nathan Porter, the IMF’s Mission Chief to Pakistan, welcomed the announcement of financial assistance from the two “key” friendly countries, stating that the IMF supports the efforts of the Pakistani authorities. A Pakistani delegation is currently in Washington attending the Spring meetings of the IMF to discuss the revival of the loan programme. Pakistan’s Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was unable to attend due to domestic issues.

Pakistan had been asked to arrange $6 billion in external financing, which it needed from now until June to avoid default. Saudi Arabia has pledged $2 billion, while the UAE has committed $1 billion, thus reducing the now-required amount to $3 billion. Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have fallen to cover barely a month of imports after the IMF funding stalled in November, hit by snags over fiscal policy adjustments after officials of the lender visited Islamabad in February for talks. The IMF programme will disburse another tranche of over $1 billion to Pakistan before it concludes in June.



IMF’s Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department, Jihad Azour, during a press conference, briefed the media about the current status of the $6.5 billion programme with Pakistan, saying that Pakistan is at a critical juncture and decisive actions are required to stabilise the economy. Azour emphasized the need for Pakistan to address inflation, reduce the constraints on trade and export, and maintain macroeconomic stability. He also stated that financing is required, and the financing needs are about what is currently in the programme, and the IMF is working with the authorities and bilateral supporters of Pakistan to ensure that the financing needs for the programme and beyond are assured.

Central bank governor Jameel Ahmad told investors in Washington at the spring meetings of the lender and the World Bank that programme loans from other multilateral agencies await completion of the IMF review. Pakistan is at a critical juncture, and decisive actions are required to stabilise the economy.