Washington: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday approved a financial assistance package of USD 6.7 billion for Pakistan, boosting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's efforts to tackle an economic meltdown.
The three-year arrangement approved by the IMF Executive Board under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) is to support the country's economic reform programme to promote inclusive growth, an official statement said.
The Executive Board's approval enables an initial disbursement by the IMF of about USD 540 million.
The remaining amount will be evenly disbursed over the duration of the programme subject to quarterly reviews, the IMF said.
According to the IMF, the programme is expected to help the Pakistani economy rebound, forestall a balance of payments crisis and rebuild reserves, reduce the fiscal deficit, and undertake comprehensive structural reforms to boost investment and growth.
"Adherence to the programme is also expected to catalyse the mobilisation of resources from other donors," the IMF said.
Despite the challenges it faces, Pakistan is a country with abundant potential, given its geographical location and its rich human and natural resources, it added.