IMF, Egypt Sign Initial Deal for $12B, 3-Year Loan

CAIRO (AP) -
FILE -- In this June 1, 2016 file photo, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, speaks during a press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt. Three Egyptian dailies said Monday, Aug 8, 2016, that Cairo was proposing to IMF delegates an 18-month reform program in return for a $12 billion loan over three years to shore up its economy, but that differences remained between the two sides on how to proceed. Egypt’s economic crisis has taken on a serious political dimension, with critics now blaming President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi for exacerbating it by embarking on massive costly infrastructure projects they say have drained the country’s meager funds and done little to revive the economy. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi.  (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, File)

The International Monetary Fund says it has signed an initial agreement with Egypt to loan the country $12 billion over three years.

Egypt’s economic crisis has taken on a serious political dimension, with critics now blaming el-Sisi for exacerbating it by embarking on massive costly infrastructure projects they say have drained the country’s meager funds and done little to revive.

In a statement on Thursday, the IMF says the loan, which is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board, comes in support of the government’s program to reform the economy. The statement says that Egypt is a strong country with great potential but it has some problems that need to be fixed urgently.

Egypt’s economy has been struggling since the 2011 uprising that overthrew longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, with high inflation, foreign currency shortages, and lack of tourism and investment that has hit both business and the broader population’s well-being.