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Egypt to discuss new IMF one-year financial support program amid coronavirus: PM

Published: Updated:

Egypt plans to start discussions within days with the International Monetary Fund on a new, one-year financial support program, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Sunday.

Madbouly said the government decided to take this step because the virus is putting pressure on Egypt’s tourism sector, an important contributor to the economy, as well as other sectors.

Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer told the joint news conference with Madbouly that Egypt nevertheless had sufficient foreign reserves to cope with the economic impact of the new coronavirus outbreak for one or two years.

In February, before the virus arrived in the North African country, Egypt had said it was in talks with the IMF about technical assistance on non-financial structural reforms.

Egypt signed a three-year, $12 billion Extended Fund Facility with the IMF in November 2016 after allowing its currency to weaken sharply, implementing a valued-added tax and raising fuel prices to reduce its balance of payments budget and deficits.

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