Africa’s third biggest economy, Egypt, has formally requested financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help straighten a troubled economy, the international institution announced on Tuesday.
“The Egyptian authorities have asked the IMF to provide financial assistance to support their economic program,” disclosed Masood Ahmed, director of the Middle East department at the IMF, in a statement.
The amount of aid is not specified by the IMF but the global finance outfit says it is waiting earnestly to begin discussions with the authorities to help the country surmount its economic challenges. Some media sources are projecting the figure of 7 billion dollars a year over three years.
The Egyptian authorities have asked the IMF to provide financial assistance to support their economic program.
An IMF mission will visit Cairo for two weeks from July 30, the statement said.
At the end of 2012, the IMF and Egypt, then headed by jailed President Mohamed Morsi, had reached a preliminary agreement for a loan of $4.8 billion accompanied through economic reforms.
But the discussions were halted a few months later, after a wave of political instability in the country which resulted in the overthrow of Morsi by the army in July 2013. The country, now led by military man turned democrat, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, then turned towards Gulf monarchies to get needed funding.
Saudi Arabia is particularly committed to provide assistance of $5 billion, while the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait offered some $7 billion to the north African country.
For several months, however, the Egyptian economy has been hit hard by a drop in foreign exchange earnings on tourism and slowing revenues in the Suez Canal. In mid-March, the Central Bank had to devalue the currency by nearly 15% in an attempt to absorb these shocks.
“Our goal is to help Egypt to revive economic stability and to support a strong, sustainable and job-rich economy,” Ahmed said.