CAIRO - Egypt is seeking a new loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to address the fallout from a sharp increase in prices.

President al-Sisi is pushing back against what he says are "inapplicable" standards to get the loan.

He may be resisting calls to further reduce the subsidies that Egypt still maintains on fuel and food. Recent IMF loans to Egypt have done little to address the economy's structural problems, and without first vastly expanding social protection, such measures imperil the economic rights of millions of people.

However, it is also possible that al-Sisi is appealing to his "friends in Europe" to help him further evade other standards, such as addressing governance issues, and rule of law erosion - also key in ensuring people's basic economic rights.

Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government has been experiencing one of its worst human rights crises in many decades. The government has tried to whitewash abuses but taken no serious steps to address the crisis. Tens of thousands of government critics, including journalists, peaceful activists, and human rights defenders, remain imprisoned on abusive “terrorism” charges, many in lengthy pretrial detention.

Authorities harass and detain relatives of dissidents abroad and use vague “morality” charges to prosecute LGBT people, female social media influencers, and survivors of sexual violence. Grave crimes, including torture and enforced disappearances, are committed with impunity, reports Human Rights Watch.