CAIRO, Aug 1 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt's finance minister said in a televised interview on Sunday that the country's external debt would reach $53.4 billion if Egypt receives the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan.
The cash-strapped government said last week it was close to agreeing a lending programme with the IMF to ease its funding gap and was seeking to secure $4 billion annually over three years to support Egypt’s economic programme.
An IMF mission, headed by Advisor at the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department Christopher Jarvis, arrived in Cairo on Saturday for a two-week visit to discuss policies that can help Egypt meet its economic challenges.
Egypt, who is hoping to finalise the $12 billion deal in August, is expecting at least $2 billion within the first two months of its agreement with the IMF, finance ministry said last week.
The IMF spokesman William Murray said last week that the scale of IMF financing will depend on the Mission Team's assessment of the financing needs and "the strength of the authorities' reform program during the visit".
Egypt has been scrambling to collect money as it faces a shortage in foreign currency due to pressures on its foreign reserves after years of political turmoil, triggered by the 2011 Uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak, halved the country’s foreign reserves and scared away tourists and investors.