IMF considers setting up two funds worth $130 bln to support Africa’s economy: Egypt’s finance minister

Doaa A.Moneim , Tuesday 18 May 2021

Maait noted that the fund is expected to provide African countries with low-interest finances to be used in repaying loans

Egypt's Finance Minister Mohamed Maait (Al-Ahram)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is considering a proposal that calls for establishing a liquidity and sustainability fund worth $30 billion. The fund aims at extending credit and finance facilities for African countries so as to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait announced on Tuesday.

Maait made his comments on the sidelines of his participation at the Paris International Conference for Aiding Sudan, which kicked off on Monday.

Maait noted that the fund is expected to provide African countries with low-interest finances to be used in repaying loans.

The minister also said that the IMF is considering suggesting a fund that targets decreasing poverty and increasing growth rates of African countries, with a total value of $100 billion, in addition to allocating 10 billion to finance rolling out vaccines against COVID-19 in the continent.

“Africa has significant development opportunities that need finance and credit facilities, which enable African economies to recover from the pandemic and restore their pre-pandemic economic growth levels. We are looking forward to reaching assistance mechanisms that could provide cash liquidity for the continent’s countries with low interest rates,” said Maait.

Maait also mentioned that the conference discussed raising the withdrawal percentage ceiling of the IMF’s $650 billion special drawings funds, which represents only five percent of the total sum ($33 billion).

He added that many African countries have witnessed a contraction in their economies because of the pandemic and its related repercussions, which requires making international concerted efforts to deal with it.

Concerning the Sudanese affair, Maait said that Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi directed the Egyptian government to put all the country’s potentials and capabilities into serving Sudan and into supporting the country in its current challenging time.

He also added that President El-Sisi’s participation at the Paris conference reflects Egypt’s willingness to support Sudan in all international forums and back all efforts that aim to drop the loans due on Sudan, especially amid the ongoing crisis.

During the conference’s events, Maait reviewed Egypt’s macroeconomic performance during the pandemic and how the country managed to maintain its positive economic growth despite the ongoing crisis.

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