IMF to review assistance for flood-hit Pak facing "massive challenge"

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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London, Aug.22 (ANI): Describing the devastating floods in Pakistan as a "massive economic challenge", the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that it would review the assistance and financial prospects of the troubled nation.

The IMF would hold talks with Pakistani officials to assess the situation and offer best help to Islamabad.

Director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia department, Masood Ahmed, said the scale of the deluge is huge and the international authority believes that there is a need to review Pakistan's budget.

"The floods which have hit Pakistan in recent weeks and brought suffering to millions of people will also pose a massive economic challenge to the people and government of Pakistan," The BBC quoted Ahmed, as saying.

"The scale of the tragedy means that the country's budget and macroeconomic prospects, which are being supported by an IMF-financed programme, will also need to be reviewed," Ahmed added.

The floods, which have inundated nearly one-fifth part of country, have affected about 20 million people and killed 1600.

The UN has appealed for 460 million dollars in aid, but donor countries have so far pledged only half of the target, even as secretary-general Ban Ki-moon urged the international community to donate more, saying immediate funds were needed to help victims over the next three months. (ANI)

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