BY DAYO ADESULU
The World Bank has approved a new $20 million project to support Tunisia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on strengthening the health sector’s response capacity.
The new project, approved under the World Bank’s COVID-19 fast track facility, complements an earlier allocation of US$15 million, which was made available in early April for emergency health expenditures by using funds from an existing project, the Irrigation Agriculture Intensification Project in Tunisia.
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the World Bank Group is ramping up its support for Tunisia in this unprecedented period of crisis
Together, the US$35 million will provide the Ministry of Health with essential equipment and medical supplies to reinforce its COVID 19 response and prevention capacity.
The World Bank’s assistance to Tunisia during the COVID-19 crisis focuses on supporting the health ministry’s emergency efforts and the government’s broader social and economic measures, including strengthening social safety nets, helping small and medium-sized enterprises, and creating the conditions for economic recovery. Up to an additional US$100 million of the World Bank’s existing portfolio is being reallocated to finance additional social benefits and grants to small and medium-sized enterprises.
“In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the World Bank Group is ramping up its support for Tunisia in this unprecedented period of crisis,” said Tony Verheijen, World Bank Tunisia Country Manager. “We are currently working in close collaboration with the Tunisian government to support its health, social, and economic measures, using new and existing funds, to help the Tunisian people overcome this crisis and restart the economy on a strong footing.”