Mahmoud Mohieldin, Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) praised, in the semi-annual report, Egypt’s proactive measures to meet health and social needs and support the sectors most directly affected sectors during the pandemic.
The newly released report – the first edition of the Monetary Fund’s semi-annual membership report, stated that on December 18, 2020, the Executive Board completed the first review of the Egyptian economic reform program supported by a 12-month standby arrangement (SBA), explaining that Egypt was able to deal with the pandemic and the associated disruption of economic activity well by adopting proactive measures to meet health and social needs, in addition to supporting the sectors most directly affected by the crisis.
The report added that the IMF approved a 12-month credit readiness agreement, on June 26, 2020, with an amount of $5.2 billion to support the government’s economic reform program during the COVID-19 crisis, pointing out that on May 11, 2020, the executive board approved Egypt’s request to obtain $2.772 billion in emergency financial aid to meet urgent balance of payments needs arising from the pandemic.
Mohieldin referred to the efforts made to strengthen the health policy response, strengthen social safety nets, and reduce the financial and external deficit, yet, warned that the risks to the economic outlook are still great in a difficult social and political environment.
He welcomed the financial reforms outlined by the government and encouraged careful prioritization and rapid implementation while minimizing the impact on vulnerable groups.
With regard to Iraq, He stated that on February 8, 2021, the IMF concluded consultations with Iraq, where the Executive Directors noted that the pandemic and the sharp decline in oil revenues had exacerbated the great social and economic vulnerability of Iraq.