Tunis — "The World Bank has agreed in principle to grant a loan worth $500 million (1USD = 1,557 TND) to Tunisia in support to the 2013 budget," said on Wednesday Investment and International Co-operation Minister Riadh Bettaieb in a statement to TAP news agency.
He highlighted this loan will be granted under attractive conditions (long-term repayment) with a 5-year grace period so as not to put further strain on the State budget. The WB had allocated last December a $500 million loan to Tunisia to support the country's economic and social revival.
This direct support to the State budget will be accompanied by a reform and technical assistance programme for Tunisia in 2013, added the Minister who was attending a meeting in Dar Dhiafa (Carthage) between a WB delegation led by President Jim Yong Kim, on a two-day visit in Tunisia, and several other Tunisian senior officials.
At a press briefing held at the end of this meeting, Interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said the WB support to Tunisia aims not only to provide financial support but also to back reforms, especially in the sectors of banking, training, surveys, investment, SMEs and decentralisation in addition to the reform of the compensation system.
In spite of the difficult conditions the country is living through, the WB President said, the bank will remain Tunisia's chief partner and will help it overcome this stage.