Green light for further IMF funds
Tunisia is to bene t from a further $247m disbursement under the International Monetary Fund’s Extended Fund Facility that will be paid in June 2019 following board approval. This will bring total disbursements under the EFF to about $1.6bn and will help unlock additional nancing from Tuni- sia’s other external partners. The authorities and IMF sta agreed on policy and reform steps to ensure that the budget de cit target of 3.9% of GDP (before grants) for 2019 can be met to contain the high debt and elevated nancing needs. In parallel, the authorities are working on strengthen- ing the social safety net for lower-income families to help protect them from the potential impact of the reforms, supported by the new databank of vulnerable households. Monetary and exchange rate policies will remain geared towards reducing in ation that threatens the standards of living of all Tunisians and on supporting an improvement in the large current account de cit through better price competitiveness. During the spring IMF meetings in April 2019, governor Marouane El Abassi said the bank had created a working group that was seriously studying the issuance of a sovereign Bitcoin bond to further enable the government to access global capital.