IMF negotiators to arrive in Egypt next week


Egyptian men sit next to closed shops in Cairo, Egypt.


Peter Macdiarmid

An IMF delegation will arrive in Egypt on Wednesday for talks with Cairo about a possible $4.8 billion loan.

Egypt desperately needs the money to support its struggling economy, though a government spokesman said Cairo would not accept an emergency loan, as it did not have a "crisis" in supplying essential products.

"(The supply) of wheat and loaves of bread is safe," Alaa El Hadid told reporters.

However, as The New York Times noted on Saturday, a fuel shortage has spurred high food prices, and there have been recent electrical blackouts.

Still, El Hadid downplayed media "speculation" that Egypt had sought financial aid from Libya and Iraq, according to Reuters

"Egypt seeks to boost investment from these countries and an opening of their labor markets (for Egyptians)," Hadidi said.

According to the World Bank:

"Eighteen months after the beginning of the Revolution, Egypt’s economy is still suffering from a severe downturn and the government faces numerous challenges. The biggest challenge is how to restore growth and market confidence, and how to coax investors into financing projects again."