RABAT, Morocco (AP) â¿¿ The World Bank has announced a half billion dollar loan to Tunisia to support economic reforms to improve the North African country's investment climate. The bank's statement late Tuesday said the loan "sends a clear signal" about the global financial institutions efforts to support Tunisia as it makes a transition to democracy. Tunisians overthrew their dictator in January 2011, sparking off region-wide pro-democracy uprisings. The loan will support reforms to remove red tape for investments, improved financial sector regulation, training programs for youth and increased government transparency. Tunisia's economy shrank by 2 percent in 2011 after the uprising and is only recovering slowly, plagued by severe unemployment.