CAIRO: Egypt has asked the International Monetary Fund for $3.2 billion in support, a government minister said on Monday, as the country’s interim Cabinet seeks to fill a budget gap pushed wider by almost a year of economic turmoil.
"We have asked the IMF for $3.2 billion in support," Planning and International Cooperation Minister Fayza Aboul Naga told reporters at the start of talks with fund officials visiting Cairo.
She said an IMF delegation would return to Egypt in late January. IMF regional director Masood Ahmed said many technical details of an agreement must still be resolved and this week’s visit was to "hear and understand the Egyptian situation."
Egypt needs to secure foreign help to fill a budget shortfall after the economy was thrown into crisis following an uprising that ousted the country’s president last February.
The previous army-backed interim government turned down an offer of $3 billion in financial assistance from the IMF last June but since then the country’s funding problems have worsened and its currency has come under heavy pressure.