The Egyptian central bank on Monday said its foreign debt has climbed more than 10% in less than a year, reaching $88.2bn in March. This is despite a raft of painful austerity measures aimed at cutting government spending.
Egypt’s foreign debt is 11.6% higher than in June of last year, but the central bank said the debt to GPD ratio is still within “safe limits according to international standards,” at 36.8%.
The North African nation has been struggling to revive its economy after years of unrest that followed the 2011 Arab Spring uprising.
It recently introduced a new wave of price hikes for fuel, drinking water and electricity, as well as new cellular phone lines and cellphone bills. Prices for issuing passports and car licences also went up sharply.
President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, who was re-elected this year, has repeatedly called on Egyptians to be patient, saying the long-overdue reforms will pay off with time.
Egypt says its foreign reserves have increased to $44bn as of May, the highest level since before the 2011 uprising.@NyashaKMutizwa