The International Monetary Fund has approved a deal that will provide a $3bn support package to cash-strapped Egypt over almost four years,

with the agreement expected to draw in an additional $14bn in financing for the country. The support package announced late on Friday

known as an Extended Fund Facility Arrangement – will not require the Egyptian government to cut spending on subsidies but will strengthen the social protection network for citizens

Egypt’s economy has been hit hard by higher oil and food prices following the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine

with the Egyptian pound losing 36 percent of its value against the dollar since March. About a third of Egypt’s 104 million people live in poverty

many Egyptians depend on the government to keep basic goods affordable through state subsidies and other similar schemes.

The package covers a period of 46 months and will give the Egyptian government immediate access to about $347m

which will help the debt-ridden nation bolster its balance of payments and budget, the IMF said in a statement.