COVID-19: Tunisia to get $35m from World Bank

The World Bank will grant Tunisia $35 million destined to support the health ministry in its fight against the novel covid-19 and finance the purchase of medical equipment.

The Washington-based institution in a statement said $20 million of the aid package is earmarked to bolster the capacity of the health system and support the North African country’s efforts in stemming covid-19, which has infected 994 people and caused the death of 41 others.

The remaining $15 million makes up a previous support credit allocated early last month as part of covid-19 accelerated mechanism, the bank said.

The institution also indicated that it will allocate to the Arab country additional $100 million to fund welfare benefits as well as grants to Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs).

Tunisia last month forecast 4.3 per cent recession and reduction of the national budget owing to the pandemic. It also projected a $1.4 billion-loss in the tourism sector, the second largest GDP contributor, and the loss of 400,000 jobs in the sector.

In addition to the World Bank, the IMF has approved a $745m loan to Tunisia. The European Union on its part granted the North African country €250 million while Italy pledged €50 million.

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