EU approves Euros 150 million disbursement in financial aid to Tunisia

The European Union on Monday approved a Euros 150 million disbursement in Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) to Tunisia, after the North African nation has fulfilled the policy commitments agreed with the bloc.

This is the second of three planned disbursements under the second MFA program, totaling Euros 500 million, to the North African country that was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council on 6 July 2016, according to an EU statement.

With Monday's disbursement, the EU has now provided Tunisia with Euros 650 million in MFA funds since 2015.

"This disbursement demonstrates the EU's continued commitment to supporting Tunisia and its people. For its part, the successful implementation of the ambitious reform package required for this disbursement to proceed is proof of Tunisia's determination to take the measures necessary to secure growth and sustain its economic recovery," Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici said, adding that the EU will continue to support this process.

The statement noted that MFA funds are made available in the form of low-interest long-term loans, conditional on the implementation of specific policy measures agreed in the memorandum of understanding.

It added that Tunisia has fulfilled the policy commitments agreed with the EU for the release of the second disbursement under the program. These included reforms to public financial management, the strengthening of social safety nets and the improvement of the business climate. These measures were designed to support fiscal consolidation and sustainable economic growth in Tunisia. The consolidation of democracy in Tunisia also remains a priority for the EU.

The second MFA program was proposed following the terrorist attacks of 2015, which negatively affected Tunisia's economic recovery. This had a significant impact on the country's balance of payments position and ability to meet its financing needs.

Source: International Islamic News Agency