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IMF Approves $451 Million For Flood-Hit Pakistan

The massive flooding in Pakistan has affected an estimated 19 millon people and destroyed two million homes.

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund has approved a $451 million loan to Pakistan to help the country recover from devastating floods.

The IMF money comes on top of $1 billion in loans that have already been provided to Pakistan by the World Bank.

In a statement, the IMF said the money, which has been made available to Islamabad immediately, is aimed at helping Pakistan "manage the immediate aftermath of the massive and devastating floods.”

The IMF said "Pakistan's economic outlook has deteriorated sharply as a result of the floods," with the agriculture sector, which accounts for 21 percent of Pakistan's Gross Domestic Product and 45 percent of the country's employment, being "hit particularly hard."

Adnan Mazarei, the IMF mission chief for Pakistan, said the IMF had lowered estimates of Pakistan's economic growth this year from 4.5 percent to 2.75 percent because of the floods.

“This is a disaster of massive proportions, both in terms of the human consequences and for the economy,” Mazarei said. “Nineteen million people have been affected by the floods -- that is 10 percent of the population -- two million homes have been destroyed. We know that agriculture is going to be affected severely, and we have revised down our estimates of growth in Pakistan this year from 4.5 percent to about 2.75 percent."