AfDB and World Bank Jointly Pledge USD 1 billion to Support Tunisia

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The African Development Bank and the World Bank pledged USD 1billion to support Tunisia after the presidents of both institutions met in Tunis on 3 May 2011. In this joint action, each bank will provide USD 500 million in budget support to the country.

The AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, welcomed the visit of his World Bank counterpart, Robert Zoellick, to the Bank’s temporary relocation agency office in the Tunisian capital.

The joint operation is also a sign of stronger cooperation between the two multilateral banks.

Mr Kaberuka thanked the World Bank for its cooperation in his welcome speech. He continued: “We are working very closely together to support Tunisia in this period of transition. I am pleased he is here today to confirm further our support for Tunisians and to ensure that the country keeps moving on”.

Mr Kaberuka added: “We are very pleased to receive Bob Zoellick here today. I think his visit here to the Bank and to North Africa is critically important, and is a sign of confidence in the region”.

For his part, Mr Zoellick said: “We’re absolutely delighted in Tunisia that the African Development Bank and the World Bank are able to provide early signals of support, which I think are very important for the confidence of the country.” Those reforms, he noted, included “some of the steps to improving governance, transparency, the freedom of association law, [and] also some of the efforts to create jobs and improve the employment system and focus on the lagging regions.”

Mr Zoellick added: “I’ve always found Donald for many years to be a wonderful counsellor and supporter, and we are deepening ties to the African Development Bank”.

“Donald and I have emphasised this is really the historic moment for Tunisia and the whole region. We want to lean forward and support a process that is not only important for the people of Tunisia, but we think also important for history,” he said.