The Assembly of People's Representatives (ARP) started on Tuesday examining a loan agreement worth US$ 300 million (TND 932 million) concluded between Tunisia and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) to fund the Tunisia Emergency Food Security Response Project.

The loan aims to provide the necessary funds to ensure grain supply, reads the final report of the ARP Finance and Budget Committee.

This loan will be granted to the Grain Office to help achieve projects during the period 2024/2026 and will be reimbursed over 28 years, including an eight-year grace period with a 6.87% interest rate.

Draft law No.40 of 2024 proposed by the Presidency of the Republic includes three components, namely providing urgent support to farmers (US$145 million) to ease the impact of drought on small farmers and for wheat supply (US$ 155 million).

The World Bank (WB) had granted an initial loan of US$ 130 million through the IBRD to fund the Tunisia Emergency Food Security Response Project.

Since the food security parent project was approved in June 2022, Tunisia’s government has sought to improve the country's grain sector. Initiatives include measures to boost domestic production, reduce food waste, increase the cereals value chain added-value, and manage drought-related production risks.

The project allowed to provide barley to 126,000 dairy farmers and certified climate-smart wheat seeds to 16,362 smallholder farmers and allowed to maintain continued supply of bread through the provision of 160,099 metric tons of soft wheat.

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