Relaxation of conditions to be decided by IMF: Ned Price

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Ned Price IMF

Washington: As Pakistan continues efforts to persuade the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to disburse $1.18 billion to Islamabad, the United States has maintained that the relaxation of conditions is a decision for the IMF to take.

Addressing a press conference, US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price said that the US wants to see Pakistan continue down the path of reform.

“We want to be a partner. We will continue to be a partner to Pakistan when it comes to all of [its] priorities, whether it’s security…economic…or humanitarian,” Ned Price said.

He added that since the devastating floods of 2022 in Pakistan, Washington had worked closely with Islamabad to provide funding assistance for flood response, food security, disaster preparedness, and capacity-building efforts.

“I am pleased to share that today the United States announced an additional $100 million of recovery and reconstruction funding, bringing our total contribution to over $200 million,” Ned said.

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He pledged that the US would continue to support Pakistan in its efforts to build a more climate-resilient future for its people as the recovery and reconstruction will be a continuing process in the coming future.

“Our flood-related assistance complements our broader efforts to form a US-Pakistan Green Alliance that looks at the range of climate and resilience issues central to Pakistan’s reconstruction.”

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Ned Price’s statement regarding the IMF conditions came on the same day Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif asked IMF for a pause in its demands for economic reforms before releasing more financial aid as the country tries to rebuild after catastrophic floods.

He said that Pakistan was complying with the IMF’s conditions “as best as possible” but asked “how on earth” the additional burdens could be shouldered by the country’s poorest.

“Yet we are committed to IMF’s program. We will do everything to comply with the terms and conditions. Though I am constantly trying to persuade them: please give us a pause,” he said.