The IMF on 7 June approved a two-year standby arrangement of SDR1.146bn ($1.74bn) with Tunisia to support the latter’s economic reform program over 2013-15. This aims to strengthen the country’s fiscal and external buffers and foster higher inclusive growth. The IMF said that $150.2mn “is available for immediate disbursement, and the remaining amount will be phased in over the duration of the program.”

Commenting on the new facility, the IMF’s Deputy Managing Director Nemat Shafiq says that “Tunisia has embarked on a moderate economic recovery while facing a challenging international economic environment and pursuing a political transition. A fragile banking sector, pressing social demands, widespread regional disparities, and high unemployment are key challenges, together with widening external and fiscal deficits.” (CONTINUED - 683 WORDS)