As Pakistan attempts to restart its bailout program, a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will meet with finance minister Ishaq Dar on the fringes of a conference in Geneva.
Pakistan only has enough foreign exchange reserves to cover one month’s worth of imports because the IMF has yet to sanction the release of the $1.1 billion that was initially scheduled to be paid out in November of last year.
“The IMF delegation is expected to meet with finance minister [Ishaq] Dar on the sidelines of the Geneva conference to discuss outstanding issues and the path forward,” an IMF spokesperson told Reuters news agency on Sunday.
According to a statement made by the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, the organization’s managing director, spoke with Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday.
“The MD again expressed her sympathy to those directly affected by the floods and supported Pakistan’s efforts to build a more resilient recovery,” the spokesperson told the local news agency.
The goal of the summit in Geneva, which is being co-hosted by Sharif and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, is to enlist international assistance in helping the nation recover from last year’s disastrous floods.
At least 1,700 people were killed by the floods, which also destroyed vital infrastructure worth billions of dollars.
According to a UN report released on December, 8 million people were “potentially exposed to floodwaters or living close to flooded areas,” while 240,000 people in the southern state of Sindh remain homeless.
In negotiations to pass the ninth review, which will release the IMF cash and open the door to additional international finance as well, a plan outlining a schedule and the financing of the rebuilding effort has been a sticking point.
Ishaq Dar recently criticized the IMF, claiming that the institution was behaving “abnormally” in its interactions with Pakistan, which enrolled in the $7 billion bailout program in 2019.
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