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|2021 planning figures|
|12,000||people of concern will be registered by the end of 2021, including 6,000 individuals who will be registered as part of mixed movements|
|1,200||individuals will be provided with psychosocial support|
|200||individuals will be supported with access to waged employment|
|2019 year-end results|
|660||vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers were accommodated in temporary shelters and received food assistance|
|400||vulnerable refugee and asylum-seeker households received multipurpose cash grants|
|220||220 vulnerable refugee and asylum-seeker households received education grants|
People of Concern
Operational environmentIn 2021, Tunisia will continue to be a regional hub for mixed movements and witness a steady increase in new arrivals. This is largely driven by insecurity in Libya and migration towards Europe, including continuing departures of Tunisians to Europe because of the deteriorating economic situation. The adoption of the asylum law will likely be stalled due to lack of political consensus. Close collaboration with the Government will be expanded to ensure the continuity of an open-door policy regarding asylum-seekers and refugees, and the latter’s access to asylum, services and facilities.
The political unpredictability in Libya could not only trigger an influx of people of concern and migrants but also create several security and military risks, which could impact access to asylum.
The protection environment in Tunisia is generally favourable but there is protracted pressure on its hosting and reception capacities. The number of asylum-seekers awaiting refugee status determination continues to grow. Host communities and authorities continue to seek support from humanitarian actors to respond to growing needs. Although authorities continue to detain people who cross illegally into Tunisia, these individuals are often effectively referred to UNHCR when seeking international protection.
Protection and assistance to the refugee population covers a range of basic needs, supporting access to health, education and livelihoods. While refugees can access basic social services, the non-recognition of refugees’ legal status by the authorities deprives the majority of them (except for holders of valid passports) of other rights, such as access to national social programmes and services, formal employment, livelihood opportunities and private sector services.
Vulnerable refugees have been particularly affected by the socioeconomic downturn as a result of the pandemic, notably isolated elderly women, large families and those unable to engage in livelihood activities.
Building on 2020 efforts, the Global Compact on Refugees, complemented by the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, will continue providing new opportunities for multi-stakeholder and multi-partner engagement on mixed movements, particularly in partnership with IOM and other relevant actors, as well as self-reliance and socioeconomic integration.
Key prioritiesIn 2021, COVID-19-related measures are likely to affect staff movements and missions. Despite the challenges, UNHCR in Tunisia will focus on:
- Supporting the adoption of the draft national asylum law, while continuing capacity building to foster good practices in the interim.
- Continuing to identify persons in need of international protection in the context of mixed population flows by profiling, registration and refugee status determination.
- Promoting refugees’ self-reliance by supporting access to livelihoods and basic services, as well as prioritizing direct assistance to the most vulnerable.