Economy - Development
Large budget aid programme for Tunisia
afrol News, 5 May - The World Bank reveals it is working on a US$ 500 million programme in budgetary support "to provide a boost" for Tunisia's transitional government.
Street market in Tunisia
|© François Basse/Flickr/afrol News|
The planned aid programme was revealed by World Bank President Robert Zoellick during his two-day visit to Tunisia this week. Mr Zoellick had wanted to gather "first-hand" information about "this time of historic change" in North Africa.
"It all started here. So I wanted to listen and learn about what is happening in Tunisia and how the World Bank Group can help," Mr Zoellick said, adding that the Bank wanted to help Tunisians to reach their revolution aims.
"Good governance for all Tunisians and that offers fair opportunity can attract investment and development while building a stronger, more inclusive society," Mr Zoellick said, explaining that this would legitimise World Bank assistance.
The World Bank leader revealed that his institution was already "working on a US$ 500 million programme in budgetary support to provide a boost for the transitional government's efforts in freedom of association; access to information; transparency in public procurement; beneficiary participation in service delivery; and retraining of unemployed workers."
Mr Zoellick further noted that this support was part of a multi-donor effort and that the African Development Bank, the European Union and other donors were also supporting these strong reforms with an additional US$ 700 million.
The World Bank was now also moving to fast track the implementation of two recently approved community development projects for approximately US$ 125 million to create jobs and provide support to poorer regions of Tunisia, he added.
During his visit, Mr Zoellick met with Tunisian interim authorities, including Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi, Prime Minister and President Fouad Mebazza.
Mr Zoellick said his discussions with Tunisia's interim authorities had "indicated a clear desire to break with the past and implement a reform agenda and good economic governance."
By staff writer
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