Amid improving macroeconomic stability and fiscal prudence, another green shoot is the healthy inflows from official, multilateral sources. The IMF's EFF agreement expects Pakistan to receive in FY20 program loans worth $668 million from the World Bank and $800 million from the Asian Development Bank. Project loans are forecast at $2.83 billion, of which $1.1 billion is to come from China.

Let's see how much of this $4.3 billion in financing from official creditors (bilateral and multilateral, not including IMF) has been received thus far. As per data from the Economic Affairs Division, the country had received $1.74 billion – or 40 percent of the requirement – in the period from July 2019 to October 2019. Both the project and program inflows are showing visible improvements.

But it is the “multilateral financing" that provides an accurate picture as to how much the “donors" have gotten comfortable with the post-IMF direction of the economy. In total multilateral financing in 4MFY20 period had reached $1.06 billion, which is more than double the same period last year.

The Asian Development Bank is leading the pack. The ADB has disbursed $574 million in 4MFY20, which is more than three times the amount disbursed by the Manila-based lender in the same period last year. Bulk of this assistance is accounted for by a $500 million loan under “Trade & Competitiveness Program – subprogram 1" – which is a loan to promote macroeconomic stability.

As for the World Bank, its two bodies – the IBRD and the IDA – had collectively disbursed $132 million in the four-month period, up 90 percent from the same period last year. The list of funded projects is varied; however, disbursements of more than $10 million have gone to projects like “Punjab Agriculture & Rural Transformation," “Punjab Irrigated Agriculture Productivity Improvement" and “Sindh Resilience Project".

There is another $303 million in disbursements from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), up 10 percent year-on-year. More funding has also come from the special UN agency for rural development, International Fund for Agricultural Development. IFAD disbursements totaled $26 million, up four times from the year-ago period. This is mostly thanks to a $15 million fresh loan for the “National Poverty Graduation Program" that is being executed by the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund.

The trajectory of inflows is positive for the balance of payment. And with more projects being signed with multilaterals, a pipeline is being built to secure future inflows. Reportedly, the World Bank has signed on loan agreements worth $650 million for Karachi uplift, $70 million for tourism development in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and $65 million as additional financing for the CASA-1000 project.