Egypt's financing package is not related to the possibility of receiving Gaza refugees: IMF

Ahram Online , Sunday 25 Feb 2024

There is no connection between increasing the value of Egypt’s upcoming loan from the International Monetary Fund and the possibility of receiving refugees from Gaza in case of an Israeli attack on the city of Rafah, Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the IMF said on Sunday.

IMF
File Photo: Former Minister of Finance and Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund, Jihad Azour. Photo: AFP

 

During an interview with "Al Arabiya" channel, Azour played down such reports amid talks about the possibility of an Israeli attack on the Palestinian city of Rafah.

He affirmed that the increase in the loan value is tied to the financing gap that Egypt needs to bridge.

Furthermore, Azour explained that the first and second review negotiations between the Egyptian government and the IMF are linked to the economic reform program formulated by the government in 2022 and supported by the Fund.

The program revolves around issues related to enhancing economic stability, revitalizing economic activity and growth through the role of the private sector, and strengthening social protection, he said.

IMF’s Director of Strategic Communications Julia Kozack said in a press briefing on Thursday that the IMF continues to make "excellent progress on the discussions of a comprehensive policy package to reach a staff-level agreement for the combined first and second reviews under the reform program supported by the IMF.”

She added that the IMF team and the Egyptian authorities have agreed on the main elements of the program and that the Egyptian authorities have expressed a strong commitment to it.

 “We're working very closely with both the Egyptian authorities and their partners to ensure that Egypt does not have any residual financing needs and also to ensure that the program can, you know, ensure macroeconomic and financial stability in Egypt,” she said.

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