Egypt Seeking $3.2 Billion in IMF Aid

Fayza Aboul Naga

Backtracking on their previous refusal of aid from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Egypt requested $3.2 billion in loan money from the IMF on Monday.

Egyptian officials decided that the money was essential to repair the Egyptian economy after a full year of political unrest which repelled tourists and investors alike.

A mission from the IMF arrived in Cairo on Monday when they began deliberations. Fayza Aboul Naga, Egypt’s minister for international cooperation said that there should be an agreement worked out within weeks. “We have asked the IMF for $3.2bn in support,” she said on Monday.

Last June Egypt refused $3 billion in aid from the IMF soon after coming to an agreement with them. The military council which was in power at the time as an interim step until an elected body could be assembled decided that they did not want to encumber the nation with a heavy burden of debt. The military council also said no to $2.2 billion worth of loans from the World Bank.

In recent days, however, Egyptian officials have expressed interest in reconsidering borrowing money from the fund. The weak recovery of the Egyptian economy, a giant deficit and the exhaustion of half of their foreign currency reserves persuaded the officials to go back to the IMF for aid.

“The authorities are still updating their economic program and the visit will allow the fund to update our assessment and then we’ll be working together to take it from there,”

said Gerry Rice, the fund’s director of external relations, speaking ahead of the arrival of the team.