Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly announced that his government has started discussions on a new loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), adding that the funding will be accompanied by technical support to tackle the economic repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic.
Madbouly stated in a press conference in Cairo yesterday that “the government aims, with the help of the program, to preserve the economic gains that have been achieved on the ground, because no one can know for sure when the coronavirus crisis will end.”
Last year, the IMF said it had approved the last instalment of a $12 billion loan to Egypt, marking the end of a three-year program that helped the Arab country overcome a crippling dollar shortage. The deal drew criticism for painful austerity measures which included floating its currency.
Tarek Amer, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt, said: “The expected financing program between Egypt and the IMF is designed to last one year,” without giving details about the loan.
On Thursday, the Egyptian government announced the start of a partial ban on movement from 9pm until 6am as the country battles to reduce the number of coronavirus infections.
Shops are permitted to operate seven days a week until 5pm.
According to Worldometres, Egypt has more than 4,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 including 317 deaths, however Canadian scientists have warned of the government coverup; they estimate the actual number of infections if far higher.