The International Monetary Fund says it has signed an initial agreement with Egypt to loan the country $12 billion over three years.

In a statement on Thursday, the IMF says the loan, which is subject to approval by the IMF's Executive Board, comes in support of the government's program to reform the economy.

The statement says that Egypt is a strong country with great potential but it has some problems that need to be fixed urgently.

Egypt's economy has been struggling since the 2011 uprising that overthrew longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, with high inflation, foreign currency shortages, and lack of tourism and investment that has hit both business and the broader population's well-being.