CAIRO, Nov. 13 (UPI) — The International Monetary Fund approved a $12 billion loan for Egypt, an effort to revive the country’s struggling economy by “restoring stability and confidence in the economy, and implementing structural reforms that will create jobs,” officials said.
The approval allows for the first installment of the three-year loan, $2.75 billion, to be immediately disbursed. The remainder of the loan will be phased in over the duration of the program, subject to five reviews, the IMF said.
“The Egyptian authorities have developed a homegrown economic program, which will be supported under the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility, to address longstanding challenges in the Egyptian economy,” Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director and chair, said.
IMF officials said political instability, regional security issues and the global economic slowdown have hobbled the Egyptian economy. Some of the issues that led to the country’s economic instability included high government deficit, public debt and weak job growth.
The IMF implements reform program key components include maintaining a flexible exchange rate regime to improve the country’s external competitiveness, support exports and tourism and attract foreign investments. Other reforms include strengthening social protection programs and strengthening government revenues.