The heads of United Nations and the World Bank are to visit Tunisia this week to discuss a portion of a new regional financing initiative which would see Tunisia receive close to five billion USD in loans over the next five years.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will travel to Tunisia on March 28 and 29, where they will meet with President Beji Caid Essebsi, Prime Minister Habib Essid and Assembly of the Representatives of the People (ARP) Speaker Mohamed Ennaceur.
Ahead of the visit, Eileen Murray, the Tunisia country manager for the World Bank, told Reuters “The [World Bank] has developed a strategy for five years and plans to lend Tunisia $1 billion per year,”
According to the World Bank’s Website:
- “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.”
For UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who will attend a session of the National Dialogue on Employment, the trip will be his third visit to Tunisia since the 2011 Revolution.
The National Dialogue on Employment is scheduled to begin this week in Tunis at the Assembly of the Representatives of the People (ARP) after the Dialogue was delayed earlier this month following the March 7, attack on the city of Ben Guerdane, near the Libyan border.
The National Dialogue on Employment was called in response to protests over unemployment and poor job prospects that spread throughout Tunisia in January.
The January protests were the largest to have occurred in Tunisia since the 2011 Revolution.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded a two week visit, from February 18 to March 3, to Tunisia at the request of the Tunisian government, to discuss a new four year loan package to support economic reform programs worth an estimated 2.8 billion USD.
Tunisia also plans to issue a billion EURO bond on international markets to help plug budget gaps, the bond offer could take place as soon as April.