IMF, Egypt reach deal on a $4.8 billion loan
WASHINGTON - Agence France-PresseThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) said yesterday it had reached a deal with Egyptian authorities on a 22-month loan totaling some $4.8 billion to help the country overcome economic difficulties.
The staff-level agreement is expected to be submitted to the IMF’s executive board for approval in a few weeks, a statement said.
“The Egyptian authorities have developed a national program that seeks to promote economic recovery, address the country’s fiscal and balance of payments deficits, and lay the foundation for rapid job creation and socially balanced growth in the medium term,” said IMF official Andreas Bauer, who led the Washington-based lender’s mission to Cairo.
“The policies contained in the authorities’ program will help address Egypt’s pressing economic and social challenges, and reduce vulnerabilities,” he added.
Support for recovery program
The so-called Stand-By Arrangement will support the government’s economic program through the 2013/2014 fiscal year and support an economy left battered by the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
Political instability has hammered the tourism industry in Egypt, the country’s major source of revenue, and has led to a drop in foreign investments, worsened the budget deficit and sparked social conflict.
The Egyptian central bank’s currency reserves plunged, threatening the country’s ability to import commodities and support the Egyptian pound.