Sub-Saharan migrants: IMF notes steps taken by authorities to address situation

“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is concerned about the recent developments in Tunisia and notes the steps taken by the authorities to address the situation,” a spokesperson for the international financial institution told TAP Thursday.

She stressed that “the IMF remains engaged with Tunisia, notably to support efforts to enhance social equity and promote inclusive growth.”

This statement by the international donor comes after a wave of international reactions to comments by President Kaïs Saïed, who called, at a meeting of the National Security Council held on February 21, 2023, for urgent measures to be taken to combat the massive influx of undocumented migrants.

The Presidency of the Republic categorically rejected the accusations of racism in a statement issued on Sunday, March 5, 2023. It announced a series of measures to facilitate procedures for foreigners residing in Tunisia. These include extending the residence permit from three to six months, exempting Africans from the payment of late penalties imposed on expatriates who have overstayed, in the context of voluntary return and facilitating voluntary departures for those who wish to do so within an organised framework and in prior coordination with the embassies and diplomatic missions of African countries in Tunisia.

IMF Director Kristalina Georgieva expressed satisfaction at the progress of reforms undertaken on February 14 in Dubai, during her meeting with Prime Minister Najla Bouden, and expressed her willingness to strive to accelerate their pace in order to reach a final agreement with Tunisia under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

On October 15, 2022, the Fund announced that it had reached an agreement with Tunisia at the service level to support Tunisia’s economic policies through an agreement under the EFF, for a 48-month period and for an amount of about 1.9 billion dollars.

The IMF then postponed the meeting of its Board of Directors concerning the EFF for Tunisia, which was scheduled for December 19, 2022, to allow Tunisia the necessary time to finalise its reform programmes.

The new programme, developed by the Tunisian authorities and supported by the IMF, aims at restoring macroeconomic stability, strengthening social safety nets and fiscal equity, and accelerating reforms that foster an enabling environment for inclusive growth and sustainable job creation.

Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse