Arab civil society rejects IFI involvement

14 September 2011

In late June, the Egyptian Ministry of Finance turned down a $3 billion loan package from the IMF, citing the rejection as a response to “public debate”. This coincided with a joint statement signed by 76 civil society groups, led by the Arab Network for Development, that denounced the approach of the World Bank and IMF as having been integral to former regimes in the Middle East and North Africa, and argued that their policies would undermine the region’s transitional countries’ goals of democratic justice. Any financing, they argued, should “support a democratic people-led process of development and not be part of increasing … debts or restricting their policy spaces”. Egypt will instead seek funds from local markets and is expected to issue a sovereign Islamic bond.