U.S. underscores support for Tunisia’s subscription for IMF loan
Harris held a telephone conversation with Tunisia’s leader Kais Saied, the first high level contact between the Biden Administration and the North African country.
The conversation, according to Saied’s office, touched down on the economic, financial and social situation in Tunisia. “We are with Tunisia as it undertakes the reforms necessary to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic,” Harris wrote on Twitter.
Tunisia is currently in talks with the Washington-based financial institution to get a multiple million dollar loan to revamp its cash-strapped economy seriously battered by the pandemic.
A high level delegation led by the country’s finance minister met with the IMF last week to present a set of reforms; conditions of the loan.
Tunisia’s economy contracted by 8.8% last year as the pandemic hit the vital tourism sector. This year the economy is expected to grow by 3.8%. according to IMF estimates.
Tunisia also struggles with a surge in its budget deficit that stood at 11.5% in 2020 when the country received $750 million emergency assistance from the IMF. Last month the U.S embassy in Tunis offered to speak for the North African country before international donors for loans.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US-funded agency, is expected to provide a $500-million loan to Tunisia to help spur economic growth and reduce poverty.