In January 2011, Tunisia inspired the world with its peaceful, steadfast march toward a more democratic, prosperous society, culminating in the country’s first free election in late October 2011.
To support Tunisia during this critical phase of its history, the United States is proud to partner with the Tunisian government, private sector, and civil society to help develop democratic institutions, support the growth of civil society and free media, and build the economic foundations for Tunisia to thrive as a 21st century democracy. Since the revolution, the United States has committed more than $300 million to support Tunisia’s transition, focusing heavily on technical and financial assistance to Tunisia’s economy and private sector.
To support macroeconomic stabilization, the United States provided Tunisia $100 million to pay debt owed to the World Bank and African Development Bank, allowing the Tunisian government to spend an equal amount on programs to accelerate economic growth and job creation.
The United States also recently provided a sovereign loan guarantee for $485 million in international bonds that the Tunisian government issued to raise funds to support its stabilization and economic reform plans. Additionally, Tunisia was selected for a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Threshold Program which will target policy and institutional reforms that the Government of Tunisia decides to implement to increase economic growth.
To help create jobs and spur economic growth, the United States initiated a number of training and skills development programs, including entrepreneurship programs for women and youth, and the disabled, especially in the interior of the country. The Peace Corps will return to Tunisia in September after a 16 year hiatus to provide English language and professional skills training to Tunisian youth.
Later this year, the United States will launch three major programs to spur the development of small-and-medium enterprises, provide capital to Tunisian entrepreneurs to open American franchises, and to increase American trade and investment in Tunisia.
The United States will work with Tunisian civil society to increase citizen engagement in democratic life and the political transition, and working to develop transparent, accountable criminal justice institutions that respect human rights, combat corruption, and promote the rule of law.
The United States is proud of its cooperation with the Tunisian people, government and civil society and is committed to supporting the Tunisian people as they move toward a democratic future that offers dignity, justice, freedom of expression, and greater economic opportunity for all.