IMF fully supports Egypt’s aim to safeguard its economic reform gains: Georgieva

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) “fully supports” Egypt’s aim to safeguard the significant gains made under its successful Fund-backed reform programme, its managing director Kristalina Georgieva said on Sunday.

Georgieva made her remarks followed Egypt’s request of a rapid financial support from the IMF to help it deal with the coronavirus crisis. She said she expects Egypt’s financing request to be presented to IMF’s board within weeks.

“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.” Georgieva said.

The IMF official hailed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s and the government’s efforts in responding quickly and decisively through measures to control the spread of virus and provide support to affected people and businesses.

She also said Egypt’s central bank had 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).”

Under the RFI, Georgieva said the emergency financing will allow the Egyptian 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.”

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

“This comprehensive package of financial support, if approved, 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.”

Georgieva also said the package would also help accelerate Egypt’s reform efforts aimed to support broad-based, job-rich, and sustainable growth.

Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly announced on Sunday that Egypt is seeking financial assistance from the IMF in the form of a one-year programme, to help offset the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

On March , the IMF announced about $50 billion rapid-disbursing emergency financing facilities to help low income and emerging market countries fight the coronavirus.

Of this, $10 billion is available at zero interest for the poorest members through the Rapid Credit Facility, IMF added in a statement.

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