Egypt says it has cut its budget deficit for the next year and now will not have to seek international financial assistance to help pay for its governmental operations.
Egypt's economy was buffeted during the political upheaval that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in February, with foreign tourists staying home and many Egyptian workers disrupting commerce with protests about pay and working conditions.
Egyptian officials sought as much as $6.2 billion from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to help fund governmental operations in the fiscal year starting July 1. But Finance Minister Samir Radwan said Saturday that the government has revised its budget and cut the expected deficit to the extent that it does not need to tap the World Bank and IMF funding.
He is quoted by Reuters news agency as saying the government has cut its budget from $86 billion to $82 billion. The original budget projected a deficit of more than $28 billion, a figure that now has been trimmed by $6 billion.
Radwan said the result is that Egypt does not need the World Bank and IMF support, but is accepting aid from other Arab states. He said Qatar has given Egypt $500 million, which he described as a "gift."
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
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