The World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors approved Wednesday US$ 300 million in financing for the COVID-19 Social Protection Emergency Response Project, it said in a statement.
The new project will provide cash transfers for approximately 1 million vulnerable Tunisian households to help them deal with the economic impact of the COVID crisis, while also supporting the roll out of a comprehensive national social safety net system.
The latter will assist the country in building its ability to better respond to future economic shocks.
The project will also help protect more than 100,000 vulnerable children under five years old by covering their health and educational needs through a new child allowance program.
“Tunisia needs a sound social safety net to help protect the poor against the worst effects of health and economic crises such as the ones we are experiencing today,” said Tony Verheijen, World Bank Tunisia Country Manager.
“This new project will help the Government of Tunisia accelerate the implementation of its safety net program, protect the health and education of the most vulnerable children, and ultimately improve the lives of millions of Tunisians in the years ahead.”
The project has three main pillars. Through the first pillar (US$ 245 million), the project will fund emergency cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households, including those that have become poor due to the COVID crisis, and it will support the permanent Amen social safety net.
The second pillar (US$ 32 million) will help protect human capital of youth from the country’s most vulnerable families.
The project will increase allowances for vulnerable families with children under 5 years old to provide better access to health services and education – the building blocks of human capital. And through the third pillar (US$ 22 million), the project will strengthen the social protection system to deliver efficient and inclusive programs capable of protecting Tunisians through any crisis in the years and decades to come.