WASHINGTON, October 1, 2015— The World Bank announced today US$500 million in new support for Tunisia to cope with the economic impacts of the recent terrorist attacks, while also supporting further headway in the ongoing reform program. The new operation is the third and final of a series designed to support the changes emanating from the 2011 revolution and set the stage for inclusive growth and medium-term job creation.
The Third Governance, Opportunity and Jobs Development Policy Loan (GOJ-3 DPL) consolidates reforms achieved under the earlier operations, including making government more accountable and the economy more competitive. The GOJ-3 DPL supports further actions to promote the levelling of the economic playing field, restructuring the financial sector and increasing the transparency of government policies and the management of government finances. .
“We have accelerated our program of support for Tunisia in response to the economic aftershocks of the Bardo and Sousse terrorist attacks, while also supporting the urgent task of safeguarding the achievements of the political transition,” said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank County Director for the Maghreb. “This will mean entrenching citizen voice and participation as essential ingredients of policy making, and creating a dynamic private sector that provides opportunities for all Tunisians, especially young people, giving them the chance to reach their full potential.”
The operation supports specific measures to restructure state owned banks as well as reducing the burden of bureaucratic procedures that have been one of the key impediments to growth. Measures to simplify regulations have included streamlined procedures for registering start-ups and awarding contracts. Reforms to make broadband and internet services more accessible and affordable are paving the way towards transforming the telecommunications sector into a driver of future growth and employment creation. The reform program supported by this operation is being coordinated by the Ministry of Development, Investment and International Cooperation in close consultation with the Prime Minister’s office, and implemented by the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank and other relevant ministries and agencies.
“As Tunisia moves beyond the political transition, speeding up the pace of economic reforms will be critical to guarantee stability and further progress,” said Eileen Murray, World Bank Country Manager for Tunisia. “This operation is part of a package of international support designed to help Tunisia maintain the momentum on critical economic reforms. It was prepared in close consultation with the African Development Bank, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.”
The World Bank Group is currently developing its new strategy to support Tunisia over the next five years, a process that will involve consultations with the full cross section of Tunisian society. In addition to the DPL series, the Bank Group has a portfolio of 22 investment and technical assistance operations in Tunisia. This includes 10 loans for about US$1 billion and 12 grants for $51 million focused on water and sanitation, wastewater, community development and support to decentralization, especially in under developed regions, financing for micro, small, and medium enterprises, and innovative higher education for employment programs.