U.S. to provide $100 million
The United States said Thursday it would grant $100 million to Tunisia to pay its debts, hoping to let the government focus on the economy and show a success in the birthplace of the Arab Spring.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. also is negotiating a separate package in which Washington would offer loan guarantees to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for Tunisia.
Mrs. Clinton, who spoke by telephone Wednesday with Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, said the aid would let Tunisia pare down debts to the World Bank and African Development Bank left over from dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s 23-year regime.
The $100 million transfer will allow Tunisia “to instead use this money for its priority programs, accelerating economic growth and job creation,” Mrs. Clinton said.