IMF to grant $3.2B loan to Egypt in March, state-owned paper says

The Inernational Monetary Fund logo. Photo by: Bruno Sanchez-Andrade Nuño / CC BY

Egypt seems confident it will be able to close its multibillion loan deal with the International Monetary Fund.

On Sunday (Feb. 19), a spokesperson for the country’s Ministry of Finance said the Egyptian government expects the IMF delegation visiting in March to sign a memorandum of understanding for a $3.2 billion loan. The loan will be disbursed in three stages and will be charged 1.2 percent interest, the Wall Street Journal says, citing reports from government-owned newspaper Al-Ahram. The first tranche will be released immediately after the memorandum is signed, Al-Ahram adds. None of these, however, have been confirmed by IMF officials.

The loan, which will be used to fund the country’s economic programs, is not enough to salvage Egypt’s ailing economy. But it can encourage donors to follow through with their aid pledges. To date, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have each given only $500 million of the $3.7 billion and $1.5 billion they have committed to the country. The United Arab Emirates has yet to make good of its promised $3 billion assistance.

Meanwhile, a date has been set for the trial of 43 NGO workers accused of receiving foreign funds illegally to foment unrest in the country, the Wall Street Journal reports. Egyptian judicial authorities announced on Saturday (Feb. 18) that the 43 people — including at least 16 Americans — will face trial on Feb. 26. If convicted, the NGO workers could face up to five years in prison.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.