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Sisi asks lenders for 'understanding' of economic pressures facing Egypt

June 22, 2023 at 6:15 pm

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi [Dubai Media Office/Anadolu Agency]

Egypt’s development partners should show understanding of the economic pressures it is under, as it pursues development plans and tries to manage a growing debt burden, Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

“Programs for renewables, water distillations, improving road networks and using electric transportation vehicles cost us major sums of money,” Sisi told a finance summit in Paris.

A plan to manage debt was being implemented but, because of events over the past three years, Egypt and other countries “need our development partners to be understanding,” Sisi said, referring to a period when Egypt suffered shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Sisi called for reforming the global financial infrastructure to promote sustainable development financing, including re-allocation of the International Monetary Fund’s special drawing rights and suspending or cancelling the Fund’s additional fees in times of crisis.

The Egyptian President also appealed for more debt swaps, saying the Paris summit highlighted the importance of taking quick international decisions that prevent the outbreak of a major debt crisis.

Egypt faces an increasingly tough task raising cash for foreign debt repayments after external borrowing quadrupled over the past eight years.

READ: Egypt’s Sisi in Paris for Global Financial Pact summit