AfDB-Tunisia: "The Presence of Friends is Reassuring and Catalyses Support," says Minister Triki

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"The African Development Bank is one of the reliable friends who stands by you before you even launch an appeal for help”, said Tunisia’s Planning and International Cooperation Minister, Abdelhamid Triki, on Monday, 14 March 14, 2011. Mr. Triki was speaking after the signing ceremony of a one-million-dollar emergency humanitarian assistance grant from the AfDB in support of displaced people at the Tunisia-Libya border.

The minister drew attention to the cooperation between Tunisia and the AfDB, and the major role it has played for several years in implementing Tunisia’s development program. "The AfDB is Tunisia’s premier development partner," he said, explaining that the grant comes at an opportune time and will have a real impact on the beneficiaries.

Mr. Triki also commended the patience and courage displayed by the Bank’s  management and staff during the events of 14 January 2011 in Tunisia. He said that AfDB management assessed the situation very soundly from the early days of the Tunisian revolution, by "resisting the temptation to evacuate."

"Friends standing by you in hard times is a vital support, which enables you to move forward with determination and optimism," he said, adding that among friends, there are those who come to you before you launch any appeal: "This is the case of the African Development Bank," he concluded. He also acknowledged "with consideration and appreciation," the AfDB staff’s noble initiative, as expressed through a blood donation campaign and voluntary individual donations to the Tunisian Red Crescent, which is handling the situation at the border.

 "Through this exceptional emergency grant procedure, we wanted to minimize the risks of a deteriorating situation at the border and quickly bring our support to the people crossing the border," said Jacob Kolster, Operations Director for North Africa. The representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Jean Monod, declared that he is "positively impressed by the AfDB’s reaction."