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World Bank Announces A New Strategy For Tunisia

Jul 7, 2012

Yesterday, the World Bank announced its new economic strategy towards Tunisia. The plan is called the Interim Strategy Note (INS) and it will guide the World Bank’s activity in Tunisia for the next two years.

The INS outlines a program which will focus on three areas of engagement: sustainable economic growth through job creation, promotion of social and economic inclusion with a focus on Tunisia’s minorities and gender equality, and finally an effort to strengthen governmental transparency.

The program has been designed after close consultation with the Constituent Assembly, civil society organizations, youth and women’s groups , and the members of the private sector.

The World Bank’s strategy is part of a joint effort with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), to “assist Tunisia as it forges a new social contract to redefine the relationship between the Govermment and the various stakeholders in society.”

Collectively these agencies are known as the World Bank Group and each organization will be focussing on different sectors of economic and social development in Tunisia.

It should be noted that the World Bank Group had previously prepared a Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), which went into effect from 2007-2011, to support Tunisia’s development. The CPS plan attempted to generate Tunisian employment through a knowledge-based economy and investment in human development. The IFC has also previously made four investments in Tunisia’s health, financial, oil, and gas sectors. These investments began in January 2011 and come to a total net worth of $50 million.

The ISN plan released today states that its strategy will be to guide the World Bank Group’s engagement in Tunisia at a time when the country is trying to overcome major challenges like unemployment, and the development of both social and governmental policies. The plan referred specifically to the Constituent Assembly’s drafting of the country’s new constitution and Tunisia’s upcoming elections as areas where the World Bank Group hopes to offer guidance.

“Tunisia is poised to meet the challenges that it faces and the World Bank will do its best to support the country as it charts a new path.” Said Eileen Murray, the World Bank’s resident Representative for Tunisia.
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