Tunis, July 1, 2010 – The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank today approved a US$50 million loan to support Tunisia’s employment development program.
In order to address the employment challenge, Tunisia is taking decisive steps to reduce the national unemployment rate, which currently stands at 14.7 percent. Of this national percentage, 23 percent are higher education graduates and this number is likely to increase as a result of a growing labor force, insufficient demand, and a dysfunctional employment intermediation system.
The overall objective of this loan therefore is to achieve more effective and efficient job entry in Tunisia. The Development Policy Loan (DPL) will improve active employment programs, employment intermediation, and the employment policy information base.
Ms. Rebekka Grun, Senior Economist and Task Team Leader, indicated: “This DPL is the first step in a five-year labor market reform program. These five years of support for the Presidential Program (2009-2014) could help improve the employment rate, especially for formal employment, and facilitate the transition of the economy toward more value added sectors.”
In relation to the Eleventh National Development Plan, the DPL essentially supports three objectives:
- Facilitate employment through active labor market policies;
- Strengthen the functions essential for the domestic and international mobility of the labor force; and
- Strengthen the monitoring, evaluation, and dissemination of employment data and mainstream evidence-based policy-making.
Ms. Grun added: “This first DPL seeks to provide improved employment services as well as inclusive and dynamic social dialogue, which could form the basis for the ambitious reforms needed for a quantum leap in employment.”
This development policy is primarily designed to support pillar (i) of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) – employment, growth, and competitiveness, and to a lesser extent, pillar (iii) –improving the quality of service delivery.
The World Bank supports 20 projects in Tunisia, in different sectors, such as employment, water, environment, education, teaching, energy, and support for integration and competitiveness.