The International Monetary Fund on Friday announced the approval of a 745-million-dollar loan to help Tunisia cope with the economic crisis arising from coronavirus pandemic.
According to the IMF, the North African country’s economy is expected to contract by 4.3 percent in 2020, in what is speculated to be the worst recession since the country’s independence in 1956.
This is the first IMF emergency financing to the Middle East and North Africa region.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Tunisia hard.
“The pandemic will worsen Tunisia’s already elevated macroeconomic imbalances and will also create urgent fiscal and balance of payment needs,” Mitsuhiro Furusawa, the IMF deputy managing director said in a statement.
The monies are meant to help Tunisia “contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its human, social, and economic toll amid unprecedented uncertainty.”
The IMF said the loan will be used to increase health spending, strengthen social safety nets, and support Tunisian businesses.