Algerian President Abdelmadjid Attar on 1 March revealed that the country’s foreign exchange reserves stood in the range of $42-43bn – 31% lower than end-2019’s $61.5bn.

Years of unsustainable spending habits coupled with lower oil prices have translated into eight consecutive years of forex declines. And that was from a record $195bn in 2013. Covid-19 has certainly exacerbated macroeconomic pressures, but Algeria’s problems are structural (MEES, 22 January). (CONTINUED - 120 WORDS)