banking

Tunisia, World Bank sign €82.5-million loan agreement

April 1, 2021

(TAP) - Tunisia and the World Bank on Wednesday signed an €82.5-million loan agreement (about 268.125 million dinars), as part of the COVID-19 Response Project.

The loan will be repaid over 18 years, including a 5-year grace period, with an interest rate of 0.43%.

It aims to support the Tunisian government in the implementation of its response strategy against the spread of the coronavirus, through enhancing the national public health system.

Tunisia began discussions with the WB to obtain this credit in December 2020, said Minister of Economy, Finance and Investment Support Ali Kooli, during the signing ceremony.

The project is based on three components, the first of which is the emergency response to COVID-19, he pointed out.

It also provides for the acquisition and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, supporting the health system, including information systems, logistics and infrastructure.

Moreover, the project includes the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the vaccination campaign.

WB's Resident Representative in Tunisia Tony Verheijen emphasised the importance of the COVID-19 response project, as it will enable the tourism sector to restart and guarantee Tunisia's economic integration.

It will provide a retroactive financing mechanism of 20% of this loan to finance the contracts already initiated in terms of obtaining the vaccines.

The rest of the amount will go to financing the 4 vaccines recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO), he added.

“If necessary, Tunisia will be able to benefit from the WB's resource reserve for 2022,” Verheigen said.

The WB, on 26 March, announced additional funding of 100 million dollars for the COVID-19 Response Project in Tunisia, in order to to enable affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

The additional financing will also strengthen key aspects of Tunisia’s vaccine deployment system, including targeting priority groups; training and supervising health care workers to administer vaccines; upgrading the entirety of the national cold chain including the purchase of almost 3,000 freezers and fridges.

Tunisia recorded 28 fatalities and 1,002 more infections with the coronavirus on March 29, the Ministry of Health announced.

tap.info

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