Saudi Arabia pledges $500 million in financial aid to support Tunisia’s economic challenges

24 days ago
Saudi Arabia pledges $500 million in financial aid to support Tunisia’s economic challenges

Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday that it plans to provide Tunisia with $500 million in financial aid, including a $100 million grant. The assistance comes as Tunisia faces challenges with high inflation and debt levels.

The news was reported by the official Saudi Press Agency following a visit from Tunisia’s Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar as part of a Gulf tour this week to seek financial support.

Ammar’s journey also included visits to Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

“The Kingdom offers a soft loan and grant to the Republic of Tunisia in the amount of $500 million,” SPA said, without providing additional details.

The financial assistance consists of a $400 million soft loan and a $100 million grant, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Tunis, Abdel Aziz al-Saqer, told Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television on Thursday.

Tunisia is struggling under crippling inflation and debt estimated at around 80 percent of its gross domestic product.

Last October, the North African country reached an agreement in principle with the International Monetary Fund for nearly $2 billion, but discussions have since stalled.

President Kais Saied, who assumed near total governing powers since July 2021, has repeatedly rejected what he calls the “diktats” of the IMF before a loan is granted.

On Sunday, Saied reiterated his rejection of IMF demands to lift subsidies on basic products and services, namely oil and electricity, as well as the restructuring of 100 state-owned firms.


Share