IMF studying Egypt’s request for financial assistance to tackle COVID-19, Kristalina Georgieva says Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 4, 2021

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is currently studying a request for financial assistance by the north African country of Egypt to respond to COVID-19 pandemic, the Fund’s Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement on Sunday.

Ms. Georgieva said Egypt’s request for financial assistance from the IMF was made under the Fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) and a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).

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She said if approved, the money would “help strengthen confidence in the Egyptian economy, make further progress to protect the most vulnerable and provide the basis for a strong economic recovery.

“It would also help accelerate Egypt’s reform efforts aimed to support broad-based, job-rich and sustainable growth,” she added.

“Like many countries around the world, Egypt’s economy has been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, the related global recession, and financial markets turmoil. President El Sisi and his Government have responded quickly and decisively with measures to limit its spread and provide support to affected people and businesses. The Central Bank of Egypt has also implemented timely measures to support the domestic economy. 

“To support these efforts and contain the economic and financial impact of the pandemic, the Central Bank and the Government of Egypt have requested financial assistance from the IMF under the Fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) and a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). The emergency financing under the RFI will allow the government to address any immediate balance of payments needs and support the most affected sectors and vulnerable groups of people. I expect the request for the RFI to be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board within the next few weeks,” Ms. Georgieva said.

She said IMF is also working with the Egyptian government “to support its strong set of macroeconomic policies through an SBA.”

“We fully support the government’s aim to safeguard the significant gains made under the successfully completed three-year Extended Fund Facility last year.”

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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