Pakistan receives a $ 1.39 billion loan from the IMF to help it deal with the coronavirus crisis


Ailing Pakistan has received an emergency loan of 1.39 billion US dollars from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to replenish its foreign exchange reserves in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The $ 1.39 billion loan is on top of the $ 6 billion rescue package that Pakistan signed with the IMF last July to avert a balance of payments crisis. “The SBP (State Bank of Pakistan) has received 1.39 billion US dollars from the IMF under the rapid financing instrument (RFI),” said the central bank in a tweet on Wednesday.

In March, Pakistan asked the global moneylender for a low-cost, fast-paying loan under its Fast-Pay Facility (RFI) to help deal with the negative economic impact of the pandemic. The RFI is used to provide financial assistance to IMF member countries that have urgent balance of payments needs without having to put in place a full program.

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The loan will appear to push Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves to a monthly high of over $ 12 billion, according to a report by The Express Tribune. The IMF Executive Board approved the low-cost emergency loan last week to help Pakistan meet urgent international payment needs in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent IMF statement.

With the recent rebound of 0.76 rupees in the interbank market on Wednesday, the rupee has cumulatively regained 7.53 rupees, or 4.5 percent, to a one-month high of 160.36 rupees per US dollar (SBP) over the past two weeks, in said an explanation.

Previously, on April 10, 2020, foreign exchange reserves were $ 10.97 billion.

Reserves were partially depleted in the past five to six weeks due to the capital withdrawal of approximately $ 2.69 billion by short-term foreign investors from the Pakistani debt market. Many of them panicked and sold early Treasury bills and long-term Pakistani investment bonds in the wake of the rapid spread of the coronavirus around the world.

The repayments of foreign debts have also consumed foreign exchange reserves in the past four months.

Pakistan has also reached out to other multilateral donors for additional funding to combat the pandemic and its economic impact. The World Bank previously granted Pakistan $ 1 billion and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) $ 1.5 billion to keep its economy afloat.

Meanwhile, Pakistan reported a surge in coronavirus infections to 10,513 with 224 deaths in the country. The Department of National Health Services said 15 more patients across the country died during the reporting period, bringing the number to 224. “Punjab reported 4,590 patients, Sindh 3,373, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 1,453, Balochistan 552, Gilgit-Baltistan 290, Islamabad 204 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir reported 51 patients,” the ministry said in a statement.

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