President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and the government have responded to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, quickly and decisively, said the Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In a Sunday statement, Georgieva said that measures undertaken by Egypt helped to limit the virus spread and provide support to affected people and businesses.
“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,” she added.
Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly revealed that Egypt has requested financial and technical support from the IMF as the country faces the economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response, the IMF’s Managing Director said: “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.”
“My staff 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 completed three-year Extended Fund Facility last year. 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. It would also help accelerate Egypt’s reform efforts aimed to support broad-based, job-rich and sustainable growth.”
Egypt had implemented an economic reform programme between 2016 and 2019, with $12bn in financial support from the IMF.
“We wanted to take proactive steps for a year in case the COVID-19 crisis continues, and to avoid its impacts, which have interrupted many sectors of the Egyptian economy,” Madbouly said.