The executive board of the IMF will meet on August 29 to decide whether to restart a $6 billion loan facility for Islamabad that has stalled, according to the IMF’s envoy for Pakistan on Wednesday.
The IMF announced last month that it had reached an agreement with Pakistan at the staff level that would allow for the transfer of $1.17 billion, subject to IMF board approval.
According to a statement released by the IMF on July 14, its staff had agreed on guidelines for a review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program that, if authorized, could increase the program’s total payouts to nearly $4.2 billion.
“The IMF Executive Board meeting for the combined seventh and eight reviews under the Extended Fund Facility has been set for August 29,” the IMF Pakistan representative said.
The breakthrough could be barely more timely, with the high price of energy imports pushing Pakistan to the brink of a balance of payments crisis.
The Pakistani rupee has weakened to historic lows against the US dollar, and the country’s foreign exchange reserves have almost completely drained, barely covering five weeks’ worth of imports.
Less than half of the $6 billion, 39-month IMF program has been disbursed to Pakistan as a result of Islamabad’s struggles to meet its goals.