Egypt is the second biggest debtor of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the world. Despite the notorious social and economic repercussions that IMF programs and interventions have had in the country, an $820 million bailout for its ailing economy has lately been approved by the International Financial Institution (IFI). IMF loan programs and their accompanying conditionality are especially affecting Egypt’s monetary system, food security, and social welfare, which is found to be at the core of the recent economic crises that have hit the country.

This is particularly occurring through the channel of neoliberal structural adjustments and monetary prescriptions, as well as the channel of imposed austerity measures, induced indebtedness, and bad credit risk management practices, which is shrinking the fiscal space available for public spending (including social spending). As a result, Egypt’s currency floating and interest rate policies have played the role of a “negative redistributor” of wealth and public resources. Moreover, Egypt spends more on debt servicing and interest payments than on social services and social protection. Yet, this impasse is often analyzed from an economic perspective and rarely analyzed from a social justice one.

On the occasion of this year’s Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group (WBG) and on the margin of these meetings’ Civil Society Policy Forum (CSPF), the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI) and the Women for Justice Foundation (WJF) are publishing a consolidated edited volume titled “Egypt’s Successive Economic Crises: The IMF’s Impact and Pathways to Just Monetary, Food, and Social Policies.” This edited volume fills the aforementioned gap in the literature and allows for tangible evidence-based policy action for monetary, food, and social justice. The two organizations are launching this research in a joint virtual webinar that is held in parallel to the upcoming CSPF.

This webinar is meant to present the main findings of the edited volume, which comprises three research papers, and to advocate the ensuing policy recommendations. To do so, an IMF speaker will be joining the event to provide feedback on the presentations of the papers’ respective authors and discuss the key takeaways of their research. The webinar discussion will therefore revolve around the dimensions addressed in the three papers of the edited volume – while focusing on the role of the IMF therein – namely:

  • The impact on Egypt’s monetary policy in recent years and its consequences at the level of fiscal policy or the level of poverty and income distribution.
  • The impact on food and agricultural policies and, subsequently, on hunger and food security.
  • The impact on social spending, especially in the education and health sectors, and the ineffectiveness of tangential solutions by the IMF and the World Bank.

To watch the webinar: click here

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