West News Wire: The head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, announced that she would meet with delegates from Egypt and Tunisia on Saturday and expressed confidence that the multilateral lender would “back them up.”
Since the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine, Georgieva said, the IMF has given around $90 billion to 16 nations, but it still has $700 billion in credit capacity, and other nations are now requesting assistance.
About 28 requests for IMF financial assistance, including those from Egypt and Tunisia, are being examined at the moment, according to the fund, which also said it was exploring for further ways to help countries in need of money.
“I’m actually today going to be meeting with delegations of Egypt and Tunisia, countries where I am confident that you will see us backing them up in this difficult time,” Georgieva told a banking seminar during the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank.
Georgieva told reporters on Friday that the IMF and Egypt had resolved all “big policy issues” in their discussions on a new lending program, but were still working on smaller technical details.
Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maiit told local TV in Egypt that he expected his country to sign an IMF deal “very soon” to help stem a currency crisis that has restricted imports and sparked market unease over foreign debt repayments.
He previously told local media that Egypt could expect just $3-$5 billion. One person familiar with the matter said the package would likely be at the lower end of this range.
Tunisia, which is suffering its worst financial crisis, last month said it expects to reach an agreement with the IMF in coming weeks on a loan of between $2 billion and $4 billion over three years to save its public finances from collapse.
IMF officials had no immediate comment on the timing of Georgieva’s meetings with officials from both countries.