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Tunisia: partnership instead of solidarity and charity

“We will not continue to grant aid to needy families. On the contrary, efforts will now focus on promoting entrepreneurship by easing access to microcredit for those in need to create their own projects.”

These are the words of Mohamed Ennaceur, Minister of Social Affairs at a news conference held Wednesday.

Moreover, an agreement was signed with microcredit institutions in order to facilitate access to such credits.

The Minister recalled that the regular meeting of the Cabinet of the Interim Government adopted a package of measures to support needy families, during the holy month of Ramadan.

Indeed, and on the occasion of the advent of the holy month, the government approved a budget of one million dinars to finance a program that is part of the consolidation of civil society initiatives for needy persons.

Mohamed Ennaceur noted that 185,000 needy families included in the databases of the Department, will receive conditional aid worth 24,000 dinars, i.e. 75 dinars per family.

Regarding the start of school year, he said that assistance in the range of 14,000 dinars will be distributed to benefit 350,000 pupils and 35,000 students: 30 dinars for pupils and 100 dinars for students.

On another level, and to instill in people the value of autonomy and fight against poverty, the ministry has already activated the program designed to encourage children of needy families to create their own small projects through micro-credits that are becoming more and more a boon to low-income people to ensure a stable source of income.

“And this makes us work harder to increase our services and improve the social situation of many families in need,” said the minister.

In this context, efforts are ongoing for the restructuring of the Social Solidarity Union, placed for several years under the rule of the deposed president, like other structures.

This strategic approach could play a significant role in safeguarding the neutrality of social work. It is useful to indicate here that the Union will be responsible for the distribution of aid to the disadvantaged, “the minister said.

The desired goal is to guarantee human dignity to each Tunisian, while ensuring his contribution to the economic development of the new Tunisia.

Certainty about poverty rate of 24%

Asked about the exact rate of poverty in Tunisia, Mohamed Ennaceur reported that 24% is the correct figure, while denying the one published by the National Statistics Institute (INS), which does not exceed 3.8%. “We arrived at that figure through our database on which are listed about 185,000 poor families who received welfare and those holding care cards and pension funds members whose pensions are below the minimum wage. Unfortunately, these people are not considered poor by the INS, “said the minister.

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