Washington, DC (BBN) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will provide around US$450 million in immediate emergency assistance to flood-hit Pakistan. 
“The floods in Pakistan are first and foremost a human tragedy still affecting millions of people. But this natural disaster will also have an important effect on the country’s economy as it has caused serious damage to infrastructure, severely impacted economic outlook and resulted in a worsening of the fiscal situation,” IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a statement on Thursday. 
“In response to this, I will be asking the IMF Board to approve $450 million of emergency assistance to be made available this month,” Mr. Strauss-Kahn added. 
Mr. Strauss-Kahn made the announcement after meeting with Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Finance Minister of Pakistan, as the IMF and Pakistan’s authorities discuss the country’s economy in light of the floods. Commenting on these discussions, Mr. Shaikh said, “Pakistan remains committed to the reform efforts that will put public finances on a sustainable basis and lay the foundations for growth.”
The emergency financing would be provided under the Fund’s policy for Emergency Natural Disaster Assistance (ENDA). The ENDA amount will be allocated to Pakistan’s budget to support the authorities’ emergency response. 
The ENDA funding, which is subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board, will be disbursed this month. The emergency assistance comes on top of the $7.3 billion provided under the current Stand-By Arrangement, in place since November 2008.
BBN/SI/AD-03Sept10-12:12 pm (BST)