The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday it stands ready to support Egypt in dealing with its “significant immediate economic challenges” in the wake of its presidential election.
“Egypt faces significant immediate economic challenges, especially the need to restart growth and address the fiscal and external imbalances,” an IMF spokesperson said in a statement. “The IMF stands ready to support Egypt in dealing with these challenges and looks forward to working closely with the authorities.”
The lender called the election of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi “an important step” in the nation’s transition. Brotherhood officials have said they plan to pick up from the previous government’s stop-start negotiations for a $3.2 billion IMF loan.
In May, an IMF official said that Egypt needs to gather political support and find more financial sources to meet a funding gap of $12 billion, aside from securing the $3.2 billion loan.
“There is still more work to be done to close down those three areas, and from our point of view, we are happy to work and support that process as we can, but also we are ready to then, as soon as the pillars are there for that program to move forward relatively quickly,” Masood Ahmed, IMF Director for the Middle East had said.
The comment had after Egypt’s parliament strongly rejected the army-led Cabinet’s plan to cut state spending, dampening the government’s attempts to secure IMF assistance to avoid a potential fiscal crisis and currency devaluation.
The country’s economy, of $236 billion GDP, has been affected by 19 months of political chaos following the Jan. 25, 2011 uprising.