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IMF: Egypt asked for support with new economic reform program

People are walking in front of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) building in Washington DC on 25 September 2020. [DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images]
People are walking in front of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) building in Washington DC on 25 September 2020. [DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images]

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday announced that it had received an official request from Egypt to support a new comprehensive economic reform programme, Anadolu reported.

"The rapidly changing global environment and spillovers related to the war in Ukraine are posing important challenges for countries around the world, including Egypt," said Celine Allard, IMF mission chief for Egypt.

"In that context, the Egyptian authorities have requested the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) support to implement their comprehensive economic program," she added.

Egypt has been severely affected by the economic repercussions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has disrupted global supply chains and led to a significant increase in the prices of primary commodities.

Egypt is the largest importer of wheat in the world, while 80 per cent of its imports coming from Russia and Ukraine.

"A set of macroeconomic and structural policy measures would mitigate the impact of this shock on the Egyptian economy, protect the vulnerable, and preserve Egypt's resilience and medium-term growth prospects," the IMF official said.

On Monday, the Egyptian government approved a broad package of measures to mitigate the effects of the crisis on its citizens, including the allocation of about $7.2 billion for social protection, early disbursement of a previously scheduled increase in employee salaries and tax exemptions.

"Prudent fiscal and monetary policies will also be needed to preserve macroeconomic stability," Allard added.

The statement concluded that the IMF staff are working closely with the Egyptian authorities to prepare for "program discussions with a view to supporting our shared goals of economic stability and sustainable, job-rich, and inclusive medium-term growth for Egypt."

Allard did not say how much support Egypt had requested. While Cairo made no comment on the IMF's statement.

READ: After devaluation of the pound: the spectre of poverty threatens Egyptians

Categories
AfricaEgyptEurope & RussiaIMFInternational OrganisationsNewsRussiaUkraine
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