October 31, 2018 / 9:02 PM / 9 months ago

IMF reaches staff agreement for $2 billion disbursement to Egypt

FILE PHOTO: People hold Egyptian flags as they wait to cast their votes during the presidential election in Cairo, Egypt, March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund has reached a staff-level agreement with Egypt to disburse another $2 billion (£1.5 billion) from the country’s $12 billion extended fund facility, it said on Tuesday.

The funds will be available upon IMF executive board approval of a fourth review of the three-year programme, the organisation said in a statement.

At the conclusion of a staff visit to Cairo, IMF Middle East and Central Asia Assistant Director Subir Lall said that Egypt’s implementation of an economic reform programme helped the economy to perform well, with 5.3 percent growth in fiscal 2017/2018 and lower unemployment.

For fiscal 2018/2019 and beyond, Lall said Egypt’s goal remains to cut general government debt and achieve a primary surplus of 2 percent of GDP.

He said the government also remains committed to continuing energy subsidy reforms and raising revenues to invest in well targeted social safety net, health, education and infrastructure.

Reporting by David Lawder, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Richard Chang

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