World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Washington: EIB mobilises substantial resources in Tunisia
18 October 2019
High quality partnership strongly reaffirmed at a bilateral meeting between EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and Tunisian Minister for Development, Investment and International Cooperation Zied Ladhari.
Signature of EUR 6m in financing dedicated to renewing old and historic centres (medinas). A project with high economic, social and cultural impact and innovative governance.
This new financing brings EIB investment in urban centres and working-class districts to EUR 153m since 2011.
The Republic of Tunisia and European Investment Bank (EIB) today announced the conclusion of a EUR 6m financing agreement to support the renovation and renewal of the old and historic centres of Tunisian towns. This new financing brings EIB investment into the renewal of Tunisian urban centres and working-class districts to EUR 153m since 2011.
The signature ceremony took place on the margins of the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Washington at a bilateral meeting between EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro and Tunisian Minister for Development, Investment and International Cooperation Zied Ladhari on the historic and high quality partnership between the EIB and the Republic of Tunisia, with a view to further supporting the country in its priorities and reforms.
“The EIB is proud to support Tunisian local authorities in their urgent work to sustainably revitalise old centres and medinas,” said EIB Vice-President Emma Navarro. “The aim is to renew these historical treasures while also installing infrastructure with a direct impact on the daily lives of Tunisians. In so doing, the EU bank will also improve the attractiveness of these historic centres and medinas, and support businesses and job creation, especially for young people.”
The goal of this programme is to revitalise the historic centres and medinas via an integrated approach taking the project's economic, historical and social dimensions into account. The renewal of cultural heritage in these urban centres will take place in parallel with the installation of basic infrastructure to improve the daily lives of local residents, including water and sanitation networks, pavement and drainage of roads, the development of electricity networks and the construction of playgrounds and sports and socio-cultural complexes. Particular attention will be paid to developing these historic centres and medinas – particularly via their intangible cultural heritage – to enable them to become attractive economic hubs, promoting growth and jobs.
The governance of this programme is particularly innovative, given that all stakeholders (i.e. the municipalities, public institutions, civil society and even private sector players) will be consulted and closely associated with the project's implementation.
With co-financing from its AFD and EU partners, this new EIB assistance will support a high priority programme under Tunisia's Economic and Social Development Plan, which will have a major impact on economic, social and cultural life in these urban districts. The EIB is also making all its expertise available for the management and implementation of this project via a technical assistance programme under the Urban Projects Finance Initiative (UPFI) led by organisations including the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). Finally, this financing is consistent with the EIB's Economic Resilience Initiative, because of its expected positive social, economic and environmental impacts, in particular with regard to social cohesion and inclusion, job creation and stimulating economic growth.
As a long-standing partner of Tunisia, the EU bank has provided just over EUR 2.2bn of investment since 2011 to support inclusive and sustainable growth in key sectors of the Tunisian economy such as entrepreneurship, water and sanitation, transport, education, and energy, while also giving investors back their confidence.
The EIB provided EUR 5.6 billion of financing during 2015-2018 supporting the economies of the EU Mediterranean Partner countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia). Over these last 4 years, EIB financing has contributed to improve water and sanitation services for 5.8 million people, bring reliable and environment-friendly transport to 1.4 million people, and upgrade 1170 km of roads, while sustaining more than 300,000 jobs in the private sector.
The EIB has signed a finance contract with Enda Tamweel for a loan equivalent to EUR 8.5 million in Tunisian dinars to support microenterprises and promote financial inclusion, in particular for young people, women and the most vulnerable customers in disadvantaged rural areas.
Tunisian Head of Government Youssef Chahed, together with the Minister of Equipment and Minister of Local Affairs, officially launched the second programme for the rehabilitation and integration of working-class districts (PRIQH 2) on Thursday at an event attended by around 100 mayors from across the country. Succeeding PRIQH 1 (in place since 2012), PRIQH 2 will help improve living conditions for 800 000 Tunisians in 146 working-class districts.