In an April 14 call, Ambassador Blome and Tunisia’s Minister of Finance, Mohamed Nizar Yaiche, discussed the latest disbursement of IMF funds and the government’s efforts to support the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ambassador Blome assured the Minister that the United States is ready to consider all options to support Tunisia during this difficult time, including ways to realign major U.S. assistance programs to directly address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Tunisian economy.
The United States has supported Tunisia’s democratic transition with more than $1.8 billion in direct assistance since 2011. This assistance has been injected into the private sector, has provided opportunities for youth, and has worked to strengthen Tunisian borders and sovereignty, and counter terrorism.
In addition to the direct foreign assistance the United States has given the people of Tunisia, it has also provided assistance to international organizations that support Tunisia and provided three sovereign loan guarantees that helped the Tunisian government borrow almost $1.5 billion at low cost. Looking forward, USAID has committed one billion dinars over the next five years to improve Tunisia’s economy and consolidate its democracy, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation is negotiating a compact to provide several hundred million dollars to improve the business climate and the distribution and management of water.