3 June 2015

Tunisia: World Bank Is Currently Preparing Study On Poverty in Tunisia - Eileen Murray

Tunis — The World Bank (WB) is currently preparing a new study on poverty in Tunisia that will be ready at the end of 2015, WB Resident Representative for Tunisia Eileen Murray said on Wednesday.

Speaking at a meeting held with members of the Finance Committee at the House of People's Representatives (HPR), during which the WB presented a document making a diagnosis of the situation in Tunisia, Murray added that the World Bank will make the study available to the committee once it is ready.

The document presented by Senior Economist at the World Bank Jean-Luc Bernasconi includes a diagnosis of the situation in Tunisia, the challenges and the opportunities offered as well as the difficulties that hinder the development of its economy.

Murray said the World Bank group is currently preparing a work strategy with Tunisia as the Tunisian government is preparing the five-year (2016-2020) development plan. The latter could draw on the WB document, particularly concerning the reduction of poverty and boosting development and employment.

The WB document recommends maintaining the macro-economic balances and reviews the stages of the reform of fuel subsidy. It also calls for restructuring public banks and developing partnership between the public and private sectors.

It stressed the continuing fragility of the Tunisian economy and the low regression of the poverty rate, besides the persistence of social disparities, increasing regional balances and inequities in access to public services.

Tunisia is experiencing a deceleration of economic growth and difficulties related to the business climate as well as to the financial sector, besides problems of governance and job creation, according to World Bank experts.

Bernasconi considered that Tunisia has several advantages, namely the establishment of democratic institutions, geographical location, the availability of skilled labour, good condition of basic infrastructure and a well-organised public administration.

Members of the finance committee placed emphasis on the scope of co-operation between the World Bank and Tunisia over the next years.

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