IMF and crisis-hit Tunisia reach deal on $1.9 bn loan
October 16, 2022 / 9:10 AM
Sharjah24 – AFP: The International Monetary Fund and the Tunisian government have reached a tentative agreement to unblock a $1.9 billion loan as the North African country faces grave economic and political challenges.
Under the four-year accord, the Tunisian government -- hit by growing public protests at home amid shortages of food and fuel -- has committed to undertake a "comprehensive economic reform program" as it gets access to the money, according to an IMF statement Saturday.
Those reforms would include steps to extend taxation to the informal economy, to provide greater public-sector transparency and to phase out "wasteful price subsidies" while expanding social safety nets.
The agreement in principle, reached between IMF staff and Tunisian authorities meeting this week in Washington, still requires the approval of the Fund's board, which is scheduled to discuss the matter in December.
Tunisia's budget deficit, up sharply, is set to exceed 9 percent of GDP this year.