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Egypt, IMF reach 5.2-bln-USD credit deal to help Egypt against COVID-19 consequences

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Egypt and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reached a deal to provide the Egyptian government with a 12-month credit agreement worth 5.2 billion United States dollars to help the North African country deal with economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Egyptian finance ministry announced Friday.

This agreement would be presented to the IMF Executive Board for final approval on the requested financing amount, the ministry said in a statement.

The agreement proves the continued confidence of international institutions, especially the IMF, in Egypt‘s economic, monetary and financial policies as well as the country’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the ministry added.

It will help preserve the gains Egypt has achieved in recent years by implementing the economic reform program, according to the finance ministry.

On May 11, the IMF Executive Board approved Egypt‘s request for emergency financial assistance of 2.772 billion dollars over the COVID-19 outbreak.

Prior to the COVID-19 shock, Egypt carried out a successful economic reform supported by the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility to correct large external and domestic imbalances.

Egypt announced its first confirmed COVID-19 case on Feb. 14 and the first death from the highly infectious virus on March 8, both foreigners.

Until Friday night, Egypt‘s total coronavirus cases reached 31,115, including 1,166 deaths and 8,158 recoveries.

In mid-March, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi allocated 100 billion Egyptian pounds (6.35 billion United States dollars) to finance an anti-coronavirus plan.

Since March 25, the Egyptian government has been imposing a nighttime curfew, which varied between nine and 13 hours, to curb the spread of the virus.

The current nine-hour curfew will continue until mid-June, when the government will consider easing restrictions amid a coexistence plan to maintain anti-coronavirus precautionary measures while resuming economic activities.

(XINHUA)

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