In the past fews months since the COVID-19 outbreak, Egypt witnessed an escalated amount of imbalanced payments. They have since been negotiating with the IMF on their request for emergency financial assistance, worth 2.772 billion dollars, to alleviate financial pressures and support vulnerable sectors impacted by the pandemic. On May 11, 2020, the Executive Board of the IMF approved the financial aid requests, under the short term Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). This entails exceptional access due to outstanding credit under the previous extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility.
Supported by the IMF fund programs and effective economic reforms, there is no doubt that Egypt has accomplished great economic stability and balancing a number of external and domestic debt. The rise of the pandemic has posed monetary and economic strains hindering the growth momentum Egypt has been building up across the years. Addressing health emergencies, the Egyptpian authorities acted swiftly to allocate resources to the health sector, provide targeted support to the most severely impacted sectors, and expand social safety net programs to protect the most vulnerable. Similarly, the Central Bank of Egypt adopted a broad set of financial relief measures, including lowering the policy rate and postponing repayments of existing credit facilities.
During the announcement Mr. Geoffrey Okamoto, First Deputy Managing Director and acting Chair stated, “As the crisis abates, measures to lower the debt level would need to resume along with continued implementation of structural reforms to increase the role of the private sector to achieve higher and inclusive private sector-led growth and job creation, unlocking Egypt’s growth potential and entrenching resilience.”
As the Egyptian government along with the Central Bank of Egypt maintain full transparency and contain pandemic pressures, they remain in close contact with the IMF for support and policy advice.