Pakistan clinched an initial approval from the International Monetary Fund for a $3 billion loan program, lowering the risk of a sovereign default.

The staff-level agreement is subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board, with its consideration expected by mid-July, the Washington-based lender said in a statement on its website. Pakistan is one of the biggest customers of the IMF with almost two dozen bailouts since the 1950s.

The funds will support the immediate efforts to stabilize the economy from recent external shocks, preserve macroeconomic stability and provide a framework for financing from multilateral and bilateral partners, the lender said.