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The IMF and Social Welfare in MENA: Prospects for Alleviating Crises in Egypt, Tunisia, and Lebanon
In late October, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it had reached staff-level agreements with the governments of Tunisia and Egypt, months after the IMF reached a similar agreement with the government of Lebanon. While each of these countries face different geopolitical and social challenges, they share increasingly complex and vulnerable economic situations, all intensified by the repercussions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has heightened the Middle East and North Africa region’s vulnerability to energy and food crises.

Across all three countries, ordinary people continue to pay a steep price for their government’s severe economic and financial mismanagement. To address this, the IMF has promised to prioritize social welfare and other measures to protect citizens from bearing the brunt of these crises in its reform packages. Despite these commitments, the mechanics still leave much to be desired. The staff-level agreements are not sufficiently clear and much of the attention remains centered on fiscal and financial adjustment, away from society-wide policy prescriptions.

On Thursday, December 15 at 11:00am EST, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) is pleased to host a virtual discussion featuring Hussein Cheaito, Aymen Bessalah, Salma Hussein, and Timothy Kaldas, and moderated by The Independent’s Bel Trew in which panelists will unpack: What do we know so far about the IMF’s staff-level agreements with Tunisia, Lebanon, and Egypt? How will these programs affect social protections and welfare in these countries? And most importantly: how will these agreements impact ordinary people's lives?
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