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UN and World Bank reaffirm support for Tunisia's ongoing transition

UN and World Bank reaffirm support for Tunisia's ongoing transition


The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is on a 2-day visit in Tunisia that began on March 28.

Ban who was also accompanied by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim met with president Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia.

The joint visit is to reaffirm strong support for Tunisia in its historic transition to a more stable post-revolution era.

“We’ve just met with his excellency President Beji Caid Essebsi. I congratulated him for the democratic progress made in Tunisia. I also lauded his efforts to reduce social and economic inequalities. I assured him that the United Nations supports Tunisia’s citizens and Government at a time when the country is in transition,” said Ban Ki-moon.

Ban also expressed the global community’s concern about the terrorist attacks that recently targeted Tunisia and honoured victims of terrorism in Tunisia.

He laid a wreath at the Bardo national museum in the capital, Tunis in which 22 people were killed in a terror attack in March 2015.

The attack marked the start of a bloody year in Tunisia, as Islamist militants battled to destroy the young democracy.

While on the economic front, Kim called for a sharper focus on creating jobs for disenfranchised youth and spurring economic growth in the country’s lagging regions.

Tunisia’s economy has suffered in recent months because of insecurity and a significant drop in tourism.

The World Bank estimates that GDP per capita fell by 10 % in 2015, with tourist arrivals and foreign investment shrinking by one-third.

While the national unemployment rate stands at 15.3%.

Currently, the World Bank is working with Tunisia’s government on a strategy aimed at reviving the economy and will lend the north African country $5 billion over a period of five years.

Ban and Kim’s visit to Tunisia marks the final leg of a five-day, four-country visit which has focused on support for governments and people of Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan.

AFP, News agencies