US Assistance Pushes Pakistan Forex Reserves to Record High
Pakistan received 600 million dollars in US economic assistance Tuesday, taking its foreign exchange reserves to a record high of 4.22 billion dollars, officials said.
The transfer of funds from the United States was part of a series of financial rewards Pakistan has garnered from its support for the US-led military campaign in Afghanistan now in its seventh week.
"Pakistan has never attained this level of foreign exchange reserves and it is definitely a historic mark," said Mohammad Wasim, the chief spokesman of the Central State Bank of Pakistan.
A perennial struggler with its balance of payments, Pakistan has long suffered from low foreign exchange reserves.
Wendy Chamberlin, the US ambassador to Pakistan said the budgetary aid in the form of a grant had been extended "to support the government's reform agenda and to mitigate the impact of economic downturn."
The largest chunk of 300 million dollars came from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) to support investment activities.
The grant envisages 73 million dollars for border security and 34 million dollars for counter-narcotics programs.
Other slices will be used for refugee assistance, child labor eradication, democracy and governance programs, anti-terrorism training and education -- Karachi (AFP)
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