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Human rights must shape economic reforms in Tunisia- UN expert


A UN independent expert on foreign debt and human rights has encouraged international lenders to lend additional support to Tunisia, which is struggling to make economic progress six years after the 2011 revolution.

“Lenders should be encouraged to provide additional debt relief to Tunisia in order to reduce public debt service and free resources for public investment according to a broadly discussed national development strategy. Debt sustainability analysis should be based on a comprehensive understanding of debt sustainability, incorporating human rights and social and environmental dimensions,” said Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, UN independent expert on foreign debt and human rights.

Bohoslavsky added that investment in economic and social rights would foster inclusive growth, prevent violent extremism and consolidate democracy.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) froze $350 million, the second tranche of a $2.9 billion loan to the north African country, due to lack of progress on reforms.

Tunisia’s finance minister says officials from the Fund are expected to arrive in Tunisia to discuss the reforms conditioning the provision of the facility, but, the IMF said it would come to Tunisia only if the nation shows notable progress in the reforms implementation.

The Fund however expects Tunisia’s economic growth to pick up to 2.5 percent this year, from 1.3 percent in 2016.

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