(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) By Khaled Jabbar
TUNIS, Nov 16 (KUNA) -- The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) on Thursday signed a loan agreement worth KD 24 million (USD 79.4 million) for building four hospitals in four separate areas across the country.
The sum is allocated to fund and set up the four hospitals, at an interest rate of 1.5 percent, and it will be repaid within 20 years with a four-year grace period.
The loan will fund the construction and equipment of the hospitals with 105-bed-capacity each, in addition to the establishment of other service buildings. It is expected the project will be fulfilled in 2021.
The two sides also inked a grant worth KD 300,000 (USD 992,500) to prepare a technical and economic feasibility study to set up a cancer center in the Tunisian capital.
The project aims to provide necessary medical services so as to decrease death rates caused by a delay in treatment. It will also absorb pressures on other cancer centers.
In a statement to the Kuwait TV and KUNA, Tunisia's minister of international cooperation and development Ziyad Al-Athari expressed the Tunisian people's gratitude to the Kuwaitis who have offered a real support for human development in the country.
He said funding the health sector is an essential step, which is the country's current policy.
Meanwhile, KFAED Director General Abdulwahab Al-Bader said the loan and grant are provided as part of the support program announced by the State of Kuwait during the International Conference in support of economic, social and sustainable development in Tunisia, TUNISIA 2020, last December.
KFAED announced it would provide aid worth USD 500 million to Tunisia over the upcoming five years, he noted.
KFAED is the major supporter for Tunisia. The first loan was signed between the two sides in 1963.
Over the last three decades, the fund has financed about 33 projects in Tunisia estimated at KD 172,975 (USD 572,358). (end) ksj.hm