ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Wednesday a swift finalization of plan to recover from the impact of the recent floods in Pakistan was necessary for the country to get continued financial support from bilateral and multilateral partners, reported Reuters.
More than 1,700 people in Pakistan were killed by extreme weather during the monsoon season this year. The unprecedented rains and floods also affected the lives of over 33 million people while destroying houses, farmlands and other public infrastructure.
While it is difficult to estimate the economic cost of the climate-induced catastrophe, it is said to have cost over $30 billion to the country.
“The timely finalization of the recovery plan is essential to support the discussions, along with continuing financial support from multilateral and bilateral partners,” the fund’s resident representative Esther Perez Ruiz told Reuters in a message.
“IMF staff continue discussions with the Pakistani authorities over policies to reprioritize and better target support toward humanitarian and rehabilitation needs, while also accelerating reform efforts,” she added.
Last week, Pakistan’s finance minister Ishaq Dar held an online meeting with the IMF mission chief for Pakistan, Nathan Porter, in which he focused on the impact of floods on macroeconomic framework and targets for the current fiscal year.
According to a statement issued by the country’s finance division, the IMF official indicated willingness to “sympathetically view the targeted assistance for poor and vulnerable” segment of society, particularly those affected by the floods.
“It was agreed that expenditure estimates for flood related humanitarian assistance during the current year will be firmed up along with estimates of priority rehabilitation expenditure,” the statement added. “In this regard engagement at the technical level shall be expeditiously concluded for proceeding with the 9th Review.”
The country has undergone eight reviews of its economic progress after securing a bailout package from the international lending agency in 2019.
The IMF delegation was expected to visit Pakistan in the ongoing month, though it did not happen and the review has now been delayed.