Tunisia: HPR Approves 2 Bills for Funding Rehabilitation Programme of Ancient Urban Centres in Tunis

Tunis/Tunisia — The House of People's Representatives (HPR) approved on Wednesday the bill on the approval of a funding agreement inked on October 18, 2019 between Tunisia and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance the rehabilitation programme of ancient urban centres in Tunis.

124 MPs voted for the bill, 16 against it and 20 abstentions.

The HPR also passed a bill on the approval of a loan agreement inked on October 22, 2018 between Tunisia and the French Development Agency (AFD) to contribute to the financing of the rehabilitation programme of ancient urban centres in Tunis.

The bill was approved by 127 MPs, 17 voted against and 20 abstentions.

This programme aims to operate in old urban centres with a high heritage and architectural value in order to improve the living conditions of their inhabitants, promote economic activities and boost cultural and tourist activity.

This 40-million-dinar programme was integrated in the 2016-2020 development plan. It includes the upgrading and rehabilitation of the urban infrastructure, the improvement of public spaces and tourist roads, the promotion of cultural heritage and capacities of stakeholders in this programme.

Some MPs wondered about the exclusion of some cities from this programme, such as Medenine, Kef and Beja, insisting on the need to generalise the programme of ancient cities and cultural heritage in the different governorates.

This programme is the continuation of pilot projects achieved in 2016 in four ancient cities (Tunis, Sousse, Sfax and Kairouan), as part of the National Programme for Urban Upgrading.

The programme will be co-financed by the EIB by means of a €6-million loan and by the AFD (€6 millions) as well by the State budget resources (€3 millions).

The financial conditions of the loan granted by the EIB points to a constant interest rate for each instalment or variable for each instalemnt, with a 20-year reimbursement period and 5-year grace period.

As for the AFD, the loan will be reimbursed over 20 years, including a 7-year grace period with a variable interest rate and a margin of 66 points.

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