After the first review of Egypt’s economic reform program, Egyptian authorities and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reached a staff-level agreement that will help unlock the second installment of a $12 billion loan.
“This agreement is a vote of confidence by the IMF staff in the continued implementation of the Egyptian authorities’ program,” said Chris Jarvis, leader of the IMF team that visited Cairo. “It is also testimony to the great efforts the Government and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) have been making to reform the economy.”
The two-week IMF mission to Cairo included meetings with the Egyptian Ministry of Finance and CBE to discuss the policy priorities for the country’s economic reform program. “We welcome the very good progress made on structural reforms, especially Parliament’s approval of the new industrial licensing and investment laws,” Jarvis continued. “Both acts will help unlock Egypt’s growth potential, attract investors, increase exports and industrial production, as well as create adequate and well-paid jobs to absorb the rapidly growing labor force.”
The IMF’s review also highlights the success of several social programs created to support the country’s most vulnerable populations, calling them “an essential counterpart to the economic reform effort”:
• The Takaful and Karama Program, a national targeted social safety net program, has been expanded to include 1.6 million families, which is nearly 8 million people and 92 percent of the program beneficiaries are women.
• The school meals for children program has been expanded to include all public schools and the government is increasing spending on a program for nurseries.
• The government is collaborating with the private sector to launch an innovative program to provide safe means of transportation.
The IMF’s strong review concluded that the Egyptian government’s program “will lay the foundations for strong and sustainable growth that improves the lives of all Egyptians.”