The heads of United Nations and the World Bank met with President Beji Caid Essebsi, Prime Minister Habib Essid and Assembly of the Representatives of the People (ARP) Speaker Mohamed Ennaceur in Tunis on Monday, March 28.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, who will be in Tunis for an additional day to attend the opening session of the National Dialogue on Employment, also met with the staff of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) which operates from Tunis.
The World Bank is currently working with the Tunisian government on a ‘new partnership strategy’ for up to $5 billion in lending over a five-year period.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim according to a press release from the Bank said
• “Tunisia is widely recognized around the world as a beacon of hope,”
• “But it’s at a crossroads. It needs to strengthen the social contract with its people, improve the delivery of public services and focus on achieving economic growth and social justice.
• “Tunisia’s economy has suffered a significant setback caused by the terrorist attacks. But its strong institutions, historic track record of growth and a vibrant civil society give us confidence that Tunisia can bounce back,”
• “But first the government needs to implement its reforms. We are here to help; and to support the country’s leadership in tackling economic challenges, while creating job opportunities especially for young people”.
• Growth and employment generation require a dynamic private sector; that is why improving the business environment and reforming the banking system are so important. And we know that investing in people through better quality education and health services is the best path to eliminating poverty and achieving shared growth.”
According to the World Bank press release:
- The partnership foresees up to $5 billion in lending over a five-year period,…aims mainly at creating opportunities for young people and supporting the private sector, particularly in the southern and western parts of the country.
- The New Financing Initiative to Support the MENA Region aims to raise a greater volume of funds needed for post-conflict reconstruction and economic recovery for MENA countries. Funding from the new initiative, combined with current programs, is expected to total about $20 billion over the coming five years.
The World Bank’s website also mentions that:
- “The “New Financing Initiative to Support the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region’ aims to provide urgent development support to MENA countries impacted by the Syrian refugee crisis, conflict, and economic instability.”
- “The initiative also intends to raise the necessary funds for post-conflict reconstruction in order to help countries across the region recover from the devastation of conflict, and foster long-term peace and stability.”
- “For countries such as Tunisia, impacted by slow growth, the initiative aims to provide additional financing to support critical economic recovery programs. Jumpstarting growth and creating opportunities for the large number of unemployed youth will be crucial for stability in Tunisia and other countries across the region.”