Arab Spring economies need $30 billion - IMF
Arab countries in transition needs about $30 billion to finance their needs, a top official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.
“The $30 billion finance should go to several countries that witnessing instability including Jordan, Morocco, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia except Syria,” Masood Ahmad, Head of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, told media on the side line of the Annual Meeting of Arab Financial Institutions and the Fourth Meeting for the Council of Arab Finance Ministers.
“The situation in Syria is not clear enough and we can’t come out with final evaluation for the financial needs,” he said.
Their situation is more a humanitarian tragedy that needs immediate attention.
“We still have spillover cost attached to neighbouring countries in terms of refugees and trade loss in these countries,” he added.
Ahmad also remarked that IMF is not the only source of financial support to these Arab countries while GCC are some of the main supporters in addition to other regional and international financial institutions.
However, these countries have a lot of challenges to face, Ahmad said. “How to contain their growing fiscal deficits which become larger and scary on their economy, is one of these major challenges,” he said.
The lack of enough domestic funding sources to repay their debt is another issue that needs attention.
Ahmad advised these countries to readjust their economic growth models to provide more jobs.
IMF has approved $450 million for Yemen which represent 100 per cent of it quota along three years.
IMF’s technical committee is heading to Egypt to discuses and examine its request $4.8 billion.
“We are not sure whether IMF will approve on this amount or whether less or more. Everything depends on Egypt need and the assessment of their submitted fiscal program.”
Ashraf Al Aarabi, Egypt Minister of Finance, said that Egypt asked for $4.8 billion and the IMF technical committee will come Egypt later this month between 18-20 to discuss further details.
He added that the ministry developed a new fiscal plan which will be discussed in the coming spring meeting in Washington DC.
Egypt will decrease the fuel subsidies starting form July, while this has been implemented on gas earlier.