IMF Bailout Offers Little Relief to Egypt Given el-Sisi’s Track Record

IMF Bailout Offers Little Relief to Egypt Given el-Sisi’s Track Record
A coffee shop that ran out of business near the Giza Pyramids, Egypt, Aug. 8, 2016 (AP photo by Nariman El-Mofty).

Last week, the International Monetary Fund agreed to a tentative deal with Egypt to loan it $12 billion over three years, in exchange for undertaking major economic reforms. The Arab world’s most populous country, Egypt has been cash-strapped and staggering from crisis to crisis in the five years since longtime President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, who ousted Mohammed Morsi in a coup in the summer of 2013, came to power with the promise of righting the economy, but that hasn’t happened.

Instead, el-Sisi has taken after his predecessors and pursued grandiose development projects, like a costly and unnecessary expansion of the Suez Canal and misplaced plans for a new administrative capital in the desert far outside Cairo, designed to appeal to national pride as much as anything else. Ongoing political turmoil has kept Egypt’s vital but sunken tourism industry down. Billions in aid from the Gulf have dried up.

“It’s been a year since we have received any money” from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other oil-rich Gulf states, the head of Egypt’s Central Bank, Tarek Amer, told a news conference in Cairo last week. They were once el-Sisi’s most enthusiastic supporters and bankrollers.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review