Tunisia: WB Loan Guarantee Agreed in Principle As PM Meets Group President in Washington

Washington, — The World bank (WB) approved in principle a loan guarantee for Tunisia.

The announcement was made by Economy and Finance Minister Hakim Ben Hammouda following a meeting, on Thursday evening, of interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa with President of the WB Group Jim Yong Kim at the seat of the financial institution.

The agreement will be concluded in the course of next week, Ben Hammouda added without indicating the amount.

It is a loan planned before hand which will be finalised in light of the budget deficit, the minister pointed out.

The minister gave an account of the meetings which the Tunisian delegation, led by the interim Prime Minister, had, on Thursday, with the Boards of Directors of the WB and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The situation in Tunisia and the major challenges confronting it as well as the reforms introduced in the banking sector and in tax matters were the centrepiece of talks.

Ben Hammouda said the WB and the IMF have "a good understanding" of the situation in Tunisia at this stage and are willing to assist it in 2014 and 2015.

A delegation from the WB Board of Executive Directors was on a fact finding visit to Tunisia from March 15 to 20 to "deepen understanding of the country's recent political developments. »

Besides, WB Regional Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Inger Andersen announced, during her visit last February to Tunisia, a USê1.2 billion programme of support for the democratic transition in 2014.

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