8 April 2014

Tunisia: World Bank Group President Announces U.S. $1.2 Billion in Planned Support for Tunisia

Tunis — World Bank (WB) Group President Jim Yong Kim announced, Tuesday, that the organisation plans US $1.2 Billion financial package this year for Tunisia. The World Bank specified in a statement that "this amount is four times more than the pre-revolution period and doubling the amount provided post-revolution."

The announcement came after a meeting last week between Kim and Tunisian Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa at World Bank Headquarters. "The ratification of Tunisia's new constitution and the appointment of the interim government in January give us great hope that Tunisia's transition will now speed up, opening up greater economic opportunity for all. That is why we are substantially increasing our support," Kim said. "Tunisia is setting the example for all countries in the Middle East and North Africa, and we now need to do all we can to support development during this critical transitional period."

Inger Andersen, World Bank Regional Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa said that the World Bank's Financing planned for 2014 would include:

Up to US$750 million in support of government reforms to level the economic playing field and promote growth and job creation, while increasing accountability in the delivery of services to citizens;

A US$300 million project focused on building up the capacities of local government will support the provisions on decentralization in the new constitution;

US$100 million investment for a credit facility aimed at supporting Banks that give small and medium enterprises much needed access to credit;

US$50 million for a project designed to promote exports will help identify sector where Tunisia can be particularly competitive. And as part of a continuing collaboration with the national water authority, a US$20 million project is scheduled for this year that will provide the greater Tunis metropolitan area with another water pumping station. Along with budget support, the Bank is currently financing 10 projects in Tunisia, totaling an estimated US$435 million in areas such as water and sanitation, wastewater, financing for micro, small and medium enterprises, higher education and rural development activities in underdeveloped regions.

In the wake of the transition, the financial institution has ramped up its engagement in Tunisia, supporting the private sector by investing US$105 million in six projects since January 2011.

The WB has also launched several advisory projects to improve the investment climate, enhance corporate governance, support employability of youth, and increase access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises.

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