COVID-19: Tunisia among 10 countries to receive World Bank's support for purchase of vaccines

October 18, 2020

TAP) - Tunisia has been included among the 10 countries receiving the support granted by the World Bank (WB) to developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of vaccines, tests and treatments against the new coronavirus (COVID-19), WB Vice-President Férid Belhaj said at the virtual annual meetings of the WB Group and the IMF, held from October 15 to 21, 2020, in Washington.

Minister of the Economy, Finance and Investment Support Ali Kooli said he was satisfied, after receiving the WB agreement on Tunisia, which was among the first countries to receive such support, the Ministry said in a statement Friday.

The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors on October 13 approved an envelope of $12 billion for developing countries to finance the purchase and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments for their citizens.

The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank approved a package of 12 billion dollars to help developing countries finance the purchase and distribution of vaccines, tests and treatments against the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

The financing, which aims to support vaccination of up to a billion people, is part of an overall World Bank Group (WBG) package of up to $160 billion through June 2021 to help developing countries fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

It adds new financing to the World Bank's COVID-19 emergency response programmes that are already reaching 111 countries, it said in a press release.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance said in the statement that Kooli has attended the annual meetings of the WB Group and the IMF and held talks with the WB Vice President and other officials in charge of several sectors.

The Minister expressed Tunisia's commitment to further bolster cooperation with the WB Group, through continued cooperation, either for the financing of development projects or for budget support.

WB Vice President Ferid Belhaj stressed the sensitivity of the global economic situation, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the bank will work to help member countries, especially developing countries to cope with the impact of this pandemic.

'The official stressed the Bank's determination to continue providing needed support to Tunisia to accompany it in the implementation of its reform programmes, with the aim of overcoming the difficulties and putting in place the necessary pillars for a gradual economic recovery.

The Minister spoke at a conference on 'economic outlook of the Middle East and North Africa region', about the main outlines of the reform programme decided in order to boost economic activity and raise the pace of growth.

In this context, he stressed the importance of intensifying cooperation and enhancing solidarity, especially during this delicate period underwent by most countries in the world, including Tunisia, in terms of negative repercussions on the economic, financial and social situation.

The Minister said Tunisia is counting in this reform process, on its capacities and its own efforts as well as on the support of its partners, first and foremost the World Bank.


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