WASHINGTON (AP) -- The International Monetary Fund has approved a $1.74 billion loan for Tunisia to ease the country's economic strains more than two years after the revolution that toppled the former regime.
The IMF says the 2-year loan will support an economic reform program in the country and help promote growth.
The decision announced Friday allows for an immediate payout of $150 million.
The IMF says Tunisia had embarked on a moderate economic recovery, but is grappling with a fragile banking sector, pressing social demands, widespread regional disparities, high unemployment and widening deficits.
Moody's Investors Service last month downgraded the country's credit rating, citing political uncertainty and the risk of instability as well as weak finances at government-owned banks.