A €200m loan to Tunisia was approved by the European Commission on October 9. It’s the first of three instalments totalling €500m.

“Today’s disbursement to Tunisia is proof of our strong commitment to support the successful economic recovery of one of our closest neighbours,” said Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs. “With a renewed sense of urgency, Tunisia has reaffirmed its dedication to an effective partnership. The EU stands firmly with Tunisia in achieving prosperity for all of its people.”

The aid is part of the second Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA-II) programme to Tunisia.

According to a European Commission press release, the MFA-II was proposed following the 2015 terrorist attacks, which contributed to halting Tunisia’s economic recovery. This had a significant impact on the country’s balance of payments position and financing needs. The programme was agreed by the Council and the European Parliament in July 2016.

The EU’s strategy of assistance to Tunisia also includes budget support programmes under the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), of which Tunisia is a major recipient among the Southern Neighbourhood countries, and substantial loans from the European Investment Bank.