Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said that his government would approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a second relief package as the third COVID-19 wave currently underway in Pakistan has hit the service sector badly.

The prime minister said the third wave is more dangerous than the previous two waves. “So I think, this is time for a second package and we will obviously talk to IMF,” the prime minister said addressing the launching ceremony of the United Nations Development Program’s Pakistan National Human Development Report on Inequality.

The event was also attended by Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar, with virtual attendance by the Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator, and UNDP Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, Kanni Wignaraja.

The report, presented by the lead author Dr Hafiz Pasha, explored the many dimensions of inequality in Pakistan. These dimensions captured both at the national and provincial levels highlighted inequality between and within Pakistan’s provinces.

The prime minister observed that the IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva realised the seriousness of the situation as conditions could not be imposed on the people already suffering owing to the pandemic.

In a recent statement, the IMF head had said, the global economy is on firmer footing as millions of people benefit from vaccines. “But while the recovery is underway, too many countries are falling behind and economic inequality is worsening. Strong policy action is needed to give everyone a fair shot—a shot in the arm to end the pandemic everywhere, and a shot at a better future for vulnerable people and countries,” the IMF head said.


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