World Bank to lend Tunisia $5 bln to support the economy
The institution urged Tunisia to continue reforms in the financial sector.The World Bank plans to lend Tunisia $5 billion (€4.4 billion) over five years to revive its economy, a World Bank official told Reuters.
The North African country is struggling after two terrorist attacks hit the tourism industry last year, on top of the lingering effects of the 2011 political crisis.
"The bank has developed a strategy for five years and plans to lend Tunisia $1 billion per year," Eileen Murray, Tunisia country manager for the World Bank, told Reuters.
"We have confidence in Tunisia's transition and will continue to support its economy and to finance infrastructure projects and financial and education sectors."
She urged Tunisia to continue reforms in the financial sector and in transparency to attract foreign investment and boost employment.
Tunisia is planning to issue a Eurobond that could reach €1 billion in the second fortnight of April to help cover part of the budget deficit.
Tunisian Finance Minister Slim Chaker said that the external financing needs of Tunisia are expected to reach three billion dinars (€1.3 billion) this year.
"Our total needs in 2016 will be six billion dinars, including three billion dinars from external loans," Mr Chaker said.
Tunisia expects economic growth to recover in 2016 after slowing almost to a halt in 2015. It is expected to reach 2.5 per cent this year compared with 0.5 per cent in 2015.