Egypt Watch

HRW urges IMF to demand transparency of Egypt military firms

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ask the Egyptian government to disclose the financial information of companies owned by the military before disbursing the new payment of the current lending programme. “The IMF should demand the Egyptian government disclose financial information about military-owned businesses as part of releasing the next tranche of funding under an ongoing loan programme,” said HRW in a letter sent by the international human rights organisation on Monday to the IMF’s executive board. The statement added: “The financial dealings of businesses owned by military agencies, which mainly produce civilian goods, are completely shrouded from public view, making them ripe for corruption and undermining civilian oversight of the funding for Egypt’s military.”

HRW confirmed, “Transparency and accountability in military-owned businesses are key to addressing corruption and mismanagement, which squander precious public resources that could otherwise be invested in securing rights such as health care, housing, food, and social protection.” Last June, the IMF approved a new $5.2 billion loan to Egypt in order to balance the financing of coronavirus-related needs. The IMF said, at the time, that the funding enabled Egypt to immediately withdraw $2 billion from the total value of the loan while dividing the remaining amount into two tranches to be paid within 12 months.

The financial data of enterprises submitted by Egypt to the IMF, as a condition for obtaining the next tranche of the loan, did not include the companies owned by the Ministry of Defence and Military Production.