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    First signature
    EUR 167,000,000
    Agriculture, fisheries, forestry
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    Amount (.*)
    € 167,000,000
    Tunisia : € 167,000,000
    Signature date(s)
    11/03/2024 : € 17,000,000
    16/12/2022 : € 150,000,000
    (*) Including a € 17,000,000 Investment Grants provided by the COMMISSION EUROPEENNE
    Link to source

    Summary sheet

    Release date
    25 October 2022
    Signed | 16/12/2022
    Project name
    Promoter - financial intermediary
    Proposed EIB finance (Approximate amount)
    Total cost (Approximate amount)
    EUR 167 million
    EUR 550 million

    The EIB loan is expected to finance the rehabilitation and construction of new silos and strategic cereal reserves in the country, to increase Tunisia's cereal storage capacity. It will also support the required permanent working capital of the project promoter, to ensure operations in the current unstable context.

    The project aims to address the current grain price spike resulting from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and build long-term capacity of Tunisia's grain supply chains. It should create significant additionality and social benefits by contributing respectively to the country's food security and generating important externalities in terms of improving nutrition and public health.

    Additionality and Impact

    The project responds to the grain supply shock and the trade distortions caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in a way that it builds long-term capacity and resilience in the country's food systems. It creates significant additionality and social benefits. The project contributes to the country's food security and generates significant externalities in terms of ensuring consumer nutrition and public health, as well as contributing to climate adaptation by reducing post-harvest losses in storing and handling of cereals. The operation enhances social stability in the region - a valuable public good, not supplied by the market without public intervention.


    The project is a top priority for the Tunisian government, as evidenced in the national Emergency Food Crisis Response Project. Policy-wise, it is strongly aligned with the geographic pillar of the EU's external action (NDICI), specifically the thematic pillars "Inclusive Food Security" and "Social protection" and NDICI's Investment Framework that promotes Sustainable Agriculture. It will contribute to EU's "Food Resilience Facility" in the Southern Neighbourhood.


    The EIB contribution to the project is high. EIB will provide significantly longer maturity, grace and availability periods to what is alternatively available to the Borrower on the local market. Through the Framework Loan, the Bank will provide a very flexible instrument, tailored to the needs of the Promoter. The EU Delegation is expected to provide grant resources, including for a Technical Assistance to support the Promoter to prepare high quality sub-projects. Moreover, EIB Services will need to monitor the project closely to ensure compliance with disbursement conditions. 

    Environmental aspects

    The project is expected to contribute to climate action and environmental sustainability objectives, in particular to climate adaptation, which will be determined as part of the due diligence. Issues related to occupational health and safety of workers within the value chain will be assessed and EIB will require the Promoter to comply with EIB's Environmental and Social Standards with particular attention to Standards 8 and 9 on Labour rights and Occupational and Public Health, Safety and Security. The project will positively contribute towards social inclusion given the targeting of the subsidised bread program to reach the vulnerable population of the country. Additionally, it will support Tunisia in building resilience towards food shortages due to climate change or to food price spikes, by increasing and modernising their cereal storage and logistics infrastructure.

    The Bank will require the Promoter to ensure that implementation of the project will be done in accordance with the Bank's Guide to Procurement.


    The proposed operation is expected to fall under NDICI-Global Europe mandate, subject to confirmation.

    Under appraisal
    8 December 2022
    16 December 2022
    Related projects
    Link to source


    Before financing approval by the Board of Directors, and before loan signature, projects are under appraisal and negotiation. The information and data provided on this page are therefore indicative.
    They are provided for transparency purposes only and cannot be considered to represent official EIB policy (see also the Explanatory notes).


    Environmental and Social Data Sheet (ESDS) - STRENGTHENING TUNISIA FOOD RESILIENCE
    Publication Date
    13 Dec 2022
    Document language
    Main Topic
    Document Number
    Document Focus
    Environmental Information
    Project Number
    Publicly available
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    News & Stories

    Link to source

    Inside the project

    How and Why

    Building up reserves


    • Tunisia imports 95% of soft wheat used in its bread
    • About 65% of its wheat came from Ukraine, and about one-tenth from Russia
    • A spike in global food prices meant the country had to spend significantly more to subsidise bread
    • Network of grain silos needed to be renovated and expanded to store more grain and protect against price rises


    • New grain silos double reserves from two to four months of supply
    • The renovated silos help avoid food waste by better preserving locally grown grains
    • New rail infrastructure moves grain supplies around the country more efficiently
    • Investment in digitalisation helps the Office des Céréales better monitor grain supplies and demand


    More control over food supplies

    • €80 million of the loan paid for grain purchases to build up reserves and avoid food shortages
    • By expanding storage, Tunisia can buy more grain when it is cheaper
    • The new silos and transport infrastructure enable Tunisia to unload imports arriving by boat faster, avoiding penalties for delays
    • The government will work on reforming the bread subsidy programme, which is important for the 15% of Tunisians living under the poverty line but is expensive to maintain



    Tunisia’s grain purchases cost $250 million more in 2022


    Stocking up for resilience

    It’s a huge objective.
    Giovanni Munoz Castaneda

    senior engineer, European Investment Bank bio-economy division

    In the spring of 2022, international wheat prices rose to their highest level in 20 years. In Tunisia, the official price of a baguette remained the same as it had been for more than 15 years – 0.19 Tunisian dinars (about 6 euro cents).

    A subsidy programme kept official bread prices low for all Tunisians, but the cost of those subsidies was spiralling. Tunisia, which imports 95% of the soft wheat used in its bread, suddenly saw spending on grain purchases surge by $250 million.

    To better resist future food price crises, Tunisia is expanding and improving it’s network of grain silos throughout the country, with the medium-term goal of doubling its reserves from two to four months of supply.  The new grain silos will also help the country avoid food waste by securely preserving locally grown grain after harvest.

    Getty Images
    The Ukraine war is at the origin of more expensive, and less regular, imports of cereals, as well as other basic food.
    Nabil Zarouk

    deputy general director, Office des Céréales

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