Today, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton announced that the United States will provide a $100 million cash transfer to the Government of Tunisia for short-term fiscal relief.
The grant, which still has to obtain congressional approval, will go to pay Tunisia’s debt to the World Bank and the African Development Bank, thus allowing it to “instead use this money for its priority programs, accelerating economic growth and job creation.”
This financial assistance would be granted in addition to a sovereign loan guarantee agreement, which is currently being negotiated between the United States and the Government of Tunisia.
The agreement will use $30 million from the United States to open up access to several hundred million dollars in new financing from international capital markets for the Tunisian government.
According to the Tunisian news agency TAP, the Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali had a phone conversation with Clinton, in which she confirmed that American President Barack Obama has agreed to start negotiations on a free trade agreement between the two countries.
“As Tunisia progresses into the next phase of its historic democratic transition, the United States is working to help accelerate economic growth that benefits all, ensure that democracy delivers for the Tunisian people, and to help Tunisian businesses – large and small – become engines of job creation,” said Clinton.
Clinton invited other nations to help support Tunisia by taking similar measures, thus ensuring economic opportunities for a larger number of Tunisian people.