Egypt IMF Deal Needed to Halt Economic Crisis, El-Arabi Says

Egypt is in an economic “crisis” from which it can’t recover without reaching a final accord with the International Monetary Fund for a $4.8 billion loan, Planning and Investment Minister Ashraf El-Arabi told reporters today.

The country’s foreign currency reserves are enough for less than three months of import needs, a level that reflects the challenges confronting the economy and which “disturbs” officials, he said.

Egypt’s net international reserves dropped to $13.6 billion by the end of January, according to central bank data. That’s more than 60 percent below their pre-2011 uprising levels.

The government will invite the IMF back to Egypt within days, or no more than a week, El-Arabi said.

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