Egypt’s $2.8 billion IMF pandemic financing carries interest rate of 1% – spokesman

Egypt’s $2.8 billion emergency financing from the International Monetary Fund carries an interest rate of around one percent, IMF spokesman said on Thursday.

Gerry Rice, director of the communications department at the IMF, said in a press briefing the Fund’s Rapid Finance Instrument (RFI) loan for Egypt will be “repaid over a, roughly, three and a quarter to five-year period, so significant grace period included there.”

According to Rice, the coronavirus pandemic, “as in many countries in Egypt, has caused significant disruption to the near-term outlook.”

“The government and the Central Bank of Egypt have responded quickly, with a comprehensive packaging tackling the health emergency and supporting economic activities, and to support these efforts, the authorities requested financial assistance from the IMF, under that rapid financing instrument, the RFI, as well as a more traditional standby arrangement from the IMF.”

Earlier this month, the IMF approved the financing, which aims to meet Egypt’s urgent balance of payments needs stemming from the outbreak of the pandemic. It will help alleviate Egypt’s pressing financing needs, including for health, social protection, and supporting the most impacted sectors and vulnerable groups.