Jul 15 2012
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Saudi Arabia grants Tunisia SR 828 m soft loan
Tunisian Ambassador Nejib Al-Monif said in Riyadh yesterday an accord between the state-owned Saudi Fund for Development ( SFD ) and Tunisia would be signed a few weeks from now, paving the way for the transfer of funds to the country.
He added: "This SR 828 million loan facility is part of the SR 1.9 billion pledged by the Kingdom to Tunisia in mid-May this year."
Tunisia, a North African country whose January 2011 revolution ended the 23-year rule of Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali and sparked a wave of protests across the Arab world, is in urgent need of aid and soft loans to build its infrastructure and to bring its economy back on track.
The envoy pointed out the first project funded by SFD was to develop a SR 450 million power station at Sousse, a city located some 140 km south of the capital Tunis. This is a priority project for the Tunisian government especially as a number of cities, towns and villages in Tunisia today are facing severe power and water shortages.
Residents in some regions have also been deprived of their daily access to water because of the power shortage.
The second project is a SR 318 million gas transport project, while the third project in the field of technical and vocational training will receive SR 60 million in funding from the SFD , he added.
The loans will be repayable over 20 years on flexible terms and conditions.
Al-Monif said the Kingdom and Tunisia had forged closer ties in all spheres. "Tunisia's relations with the Gulf states including the Kingdom have regained momentum with the arrival of the current government in my country."
Saudi Arabia has been extending aid and loan facilities on a regular basis to Tunisia to help its economy recover from the January 2011 revolution.
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