Panafrican News Agency

Netherlands donates $1million to help Tunisian small farmers cope with COVID-19 crisis

Tunis, Tunisia (PANA) - A grant agreement, worth US$ 1 million, was signed on Friday between the Tunisian Union of Social Solidarity (UTSS) and the resident representative of the World Bank in Tunis, Mr. Tony Verheijen, under the auspices of the Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, Akissa Bahri, and the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Tunisia, Antonius Lansink.

The donation is part of the TRACE programme, through which the World Bank and the Kingdom of the Netherlands are pooling their efforts to support the creation of jobs in rural areas.

TRACE (Tunisian Rural and Agricultural Chains of Employment) is a Dutch government trust fund managed and executed by the World Bank. Its objective is to create jobs, especially for young people and women, in the agricultural and agrifood, agro-pastoral and forestry sector by increasing the productivity and resilience of small rural producers.

The donation constitutes a first emergency response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to the Tunisian economy to provide immediate support to producer organizations and to micro, small and medium-sized rural enterprises in the governorates of Jendouba (north- west), Kairouan (center) and Gabès (south).

Its implementation is delegated to the UTSS, recognized for its knowledge of the field and its work in socio-economic support for rural populations, will support the promoters of the most promising investment projects in terms of job creation, in particular for women and youth, and impact on the incomes of rural producers.

The first phase of $ 1 million will soon be followed by a second tranche of $ 3.7 million, managed by two other implementing agencies in addition to UTSS.