France donates Tunisia €80m to tackle fallout from covid-19

France Monday offered Tunisia a €80 million check to help the North African country tackle the covid-19 pandemic which has infected 1,087 and killed 49 people.

France’s ambassador to Tunisia Olivier Poivre d’Arvor told, in a telephone talk, Tunisian Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation, that money is meant to alleviate social and economic impacts of the respiratory disease.

To curb the spread of the illness, the North African country imposed a lockdown in March that significantly contracted the economy. The central bank predicts a 4.3 per cent slowdown of the economy.

The Tunisian government said it needs $157 million in addition to external sources to roll out anti-covid-19 national policy.

France’s support supplements that of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, which last month loaned Tunisia €18.3 million.

The World Bank, IBRD’s parent company, early last month announced $35 million destined to support the health ministry in its fight against the novel covid-19 and finance the purchase of medical equipment.

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.

China has helped Tunisia with medical supplies, a new shipment of which arrived in Tunis-Carthage international airport on Wednesday.

Since the pandemic outbreak, China has sent to Tunisia two other shipments of medical supplies.

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