The World Bank (WB) approved on Wednesday a new $20 million project to support Tunisia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on strengthening the health sector’s response capacity.
The new project, approved under the WB’s COVID-19 fast track facility, complements an earlier allocation of US$ 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, a statement made public on Wednesday reads.
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 statement adds.
The World Bank’s assistance to Tunisia during the COVID-19 crisis focuses on supporting the health ministry’s emergency efforts, the government’s broader social and economic measures, including strengthening social safety nets, helping small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), 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, grants to small and medium size 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 in overcome this crisis and in restarting the economy on a strong footing,” the official added.