Tunisia will soon be receiving the first tranche of the €300 million Macro Financial Assistance (MFA) program that the European Union allocated to the country in May 2014 to help it overcome its financial crisis. The amount is a loan that supports the Stand-by Agreement that was approved by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June 2013 after the protests that led to the end of the Ben Ali regime hampered the economic and financial situation of the North African country.
On Wednesday, the European Commission approved one-third of the amount of the MFA program to be disbursed to Tunisia and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxations and Customs Pierre Moscovici is optimistic that the funds will help the government “to maintain macroeconomic stability while creating more sustainable growth and more jobs for its people.” He said the €100 million “should help ease the country’s financial constraints” through the transitional period and support the implementation of an ambitious economic reform agenda.
Funds provided under the MFA program will be used according to a Memorandum of Understanding between the EU and Tunisia to implement several economic policy measures. Since 2011, EU has given more than €800 million in grants to Tunisia.
Tunisia is striving to revive its economy but terrorist attacks and insecurity have been slowing down the process. Extremist groups operating in the country or near its borders with neighboring countries have posed a challenge to the newly elected government. Hopes are high after the country held peaceful elections and efforts are now focused on the comprehensive economic adjustment and reform program agreed with the IMF.