EU supports Tunisia’s ‘recovery’ with $100m grant

The European Union on Monday approved a 100 million euro ($103 million) grant to Tunisia, whose economy has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic and political unrest.

The grant programme ” is intended to support economic recovery efforts and strengthen the progress already made in the distribution of social aid to citizens and businesses in need,” the EU delegation to Tunisia said in a statement.

EU ambassador Marcus Cornaro said the European Union was keen to support Tunisia’s economic recovery after the fall of the Berlin Wall and “help Tunisian households who are suffering the consequences of Russian aggression against Ukraine on energy and food prices”.

Tunisia is heavily dependent on imports of wheat and natural gas, the prices of which have soared since Russia invaded its neighbour in February.

The first €40 million tranche was automatically disbursed after Mr Cornaro signed the agreement alongside Economy Minister, Samir Saied.

The remainder will be transferred “on the basis of actual progress in implementing the structural reforms initiated by Tunisia”, the statement said.

The grant comes as Tunisia awaits a loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the EU said its financial assistance was “part of the approved reforms” to finalise the agreement.

In mid-October, the country reached an agreement in principle with the IMF for a $2 billion loan to bail out a treasury choking on debt measuring over 100% of GDP. The first part of the loan is expected to be disbursed in December.


Related posts