Tunisia: US Set to Consider Future of $500 million Aid Package

by | Aug 20, 2022 | Diplomacy, Economic, Tunisia


In late September 2022, the Board of Directors of the US government-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) will reconsider a 2021 commitment to a five-year, $500 million aid package. The funding issue has been raised in the US by those concerned with Tunisia’s democratic future and the resultant vulnerabilities to human rights and press freedoms. The 2021 deal included aid to assist in the development of the Port of Rades in the southern suburbs of Tunis and projects targeting groundwater resource utilization and protection.


While the MCC Board decision will send a distinct message about the near-term future of diplomatic relations between the US and Tunisia, it appears unlikely that the funding will be rescinded. Thus far, the US government seems to be sending a consistent message of warning to the Tunisian government and President Kais Saied specifically. But messaging has largely seemed insistent on maintaining a healthy relationship with Tunisia. Reminders of the scale of US aid are helpful diplomatic levers for the US to raise, subtly warning Saied and his current reform program not to stray too far from certain bounds.