IMF staff reach agreement with Egypt over release of $5.2 bln loan

IMF staff on Tuesday announced they had reached an agreement with Egypt over an economic program that would release the final tranche of a $5.2 billion loan approved last year.

Once approved by the board of the International Monetary Fund, the second performance review would release the last $1.6 billion from the one-year aid plan approved in June 2020.

Celine Allard, who led the IMF team, praised Cairo, saying the “strong performance and commitment helped achieve the program’s objectives of maintaining macroeconomic stability during the pandemic while protecting necessary social and health spending and implementing key structural reforms.”

She said the Egyptian economy has “shown resilience.”

The IMF projects economic growth of 2.5 percent this year and 5.7 percent in 2022.

“However, uncertainty remains against the backdrop of lingering pandemic-related risks,” Allard said.

The Washington-based crisis lender also provided a $2.8 billion emergency loan for Cairo in May 2020 specifically to deal with the impact of the pandemic.

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