WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund will give Pakistan $450 million in emergency flood aid and disburse funds during September, IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Thursday.
Severe flooding in Pakistan has destroyed cropland and livestock and displaced millions of people, causing damage the
government has estimated at $43 billion, or almost one quarter of the South Asian nation’s 2009 GDP.
“The IMF ... will be the first agency likely to disperse very rapidly money which is absolutely needed,” he told reporters after a week of discussions with Pakistani officials. “The most important thing is to keep the Pakistani economy .. on track.”
Talks with a delegation led by Pakistan’s Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on the terms of an $11 billion IMF loan program left him satisfied with the country’s commitment to reforms, the IMF chief said.
Under the 2008 IMF loan program, Islamabad pledged to implement tax and energy sector reforms and give full autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan.
“What is important is what was decided by the government to do to improve the economic situation, especially in the tax sector but in other fields also,” said Strauss-Kahn.
“What I heard from the authorities that they really want to move on with the program,” he said.
Shaikh said Islamabad remained committed to loan terms, including fiscal authority and tax reforms.
Reporting by Paul Eckert; Editing by Andrew Hay