International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde will visit Egypt on August 22, the IMF said Wednesday, as discussions gear up over a possible $3.2 billion loan for the country.
The visit comes as Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi moves to consolidate power in the wake of his election in June and after more than a year of instability prevented the IMF from proceeding with loan talks.
“Her visit is a reflection of the IMF’s continuous commitment to support Egypt and its people during this historic period of transition,” the IMF said in a statement.
On August 5, the IMF said an official mission led by its Middle East and Central Asia chief Masood Ahmed would visit Cairo this month aiming to “resume discussions on possible financial support for a homegrown economic program.”
Since late last year, the fund has been discussing a possible $3.2 billion loan with the country’s interim leadership to help it bridge fiscal shortfalls while restructuring the economy and financial system.
But a permanent government needed to be in place first to firm up the loan program, which will require significant structural reforms. And in April, the IMF stressed it needed “a broad buy-in” to the program from various constituencies in the country.