|[Published: Wednesday January 08 2014]
Brussels, 8 Jan. -(ANA) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Tunisian authorities have signed a €90 million financing agreement to support projects that will generate growth and employment in Tunisia’s regional heartland.
The agreement signed by Development and International Cooperation Minister Lamine Doghri and European Investment Bank Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive aims to support two key projects that will have a direct impact on the daily life of ordinary Tunisians. This includes a €50 million loan for the economic and social development of Tunisia’s local authorities and a €40 million loan to tackle pollution and rehabilitate the Bizerte area.
€40 million loan for tackling pollution and rehabilitating the Bizerte area
It is as lead financier that the EIB is supporting this major project to clean up Lake Bizerte and thus rehabilitate the whole area with the aim of encouraging sustainable development. This funding will make it possible to improve the health and quality of life of the fishermen and local inhabitants by significantly reducing industrial pollution and at the same time extending the urban sewerage network. The cleaning up of the coastline will also enable the area to be developed economically and socially by promoting activities such as tourism.
This project will also benefit from the EIB’s financial and technical expertise: in addition to the loan, the Bank is to make a further €15 million available – financed by the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF). It is fully consistent with the H2020 initiative for tackling pollution in the Mediterranean and will enable optimum use to be made of the finance thanks to an advisory and consultancy operation tailored to meeting the challenges of the project – both environmental and economic – with a view to long-lasting and sustainable development. This project is also being financed by the EBRD €20m).
€50 million loan to support economic and social development projects undertaken by local authorities
This financing operation will focus on urban renewal and the deployment of socio-educational infrastructure adapted to the needs of the local population. Special attention will be paid to promoting accessibility to public services in order to encourage social integration and to developing local SMEs in order to boost employment, particularly in the construction and services sectors. This new line of credit should be seen as part of the neighbourhood policy’s European strategy, the aim of which is to reduce regional inequalities. Seven million Tunisians will ultimately benefit from this financing operation.
“These are important financing agreements for Tunisia and I am delighted to be here with you to sign them”, said Philippe de Fontaine Vive at the signing ceremony. “The EIB is a trusted partner of Tunisia,” he added. “By supporting SMEs and social and educational infrastructure, we shall be helping to stimulate growth and employment in the regions. By tackling pollution in the Bizerte area, we shall be improving the quality of life of the local inhabitants while in the future encouraging tourism and investment in development. This is how the EIB operates: through action that involves, above all, concrete measures to meet the needs of Tunisians as effectively as possible.”
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the EU’s financing institution and the leading financial investor in the Mediterranean region through FEMIP (the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership), which was set up in 2002. -(ANA)
AB/ANA/ 8 January 2014 - - -