Tunisia Nears Agreement With IMF on $2.8 Billion Loan Facility

The International Monetary Fund said it plans to conclude “in the coming weeks” the details of a $2.8 billion emergency loan facility with Tunisia, more than the $1.7 billion the government was thought to be seeking.

The IMF supports Tunisia’s five-year economic development plan focused on job creation and the raising of living standards, Amine Mati, who led a two-week visit to the country, said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday. The Extended Fund Facility would last for four years, according to the statement.

Tunisia’s authorities face mounting anger over unemployment and are struggling to spur growth in an economy battered by terrorist attacks that have damaged the country’s key tourism sector. The government is planning an international conference later in the year to pitch for aid, loans with concessions, as well as public and private partnerships.

“The team will continue its discussions with the authorities as they finalize their reform priorities and fine tune plans for this year’s budget execution and financing needs,” the IMF said in the statement. “Additional financing will be needed to rebuild buffers, while at the same time correcting structural inefficiencies that lower Tunisia’s ability to create jobs and future growth potential.”

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