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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 contextThe political context in Tunisia continued to be marked by pressing socio-economic challenges and frequent government re-shuffling, thus progress towards the adoption of a national asylum law is yet to be made.
Despite the challenges, a favourable protection environment in Tunisia allowed UNHCR and its partners to identify, protect and assist people of concern with counselling, cash assistance and non-food items. In 2017, to manage mixed movements more effectively and to identify people in need of international protection, an inter-agency profiling and referral system was out in place in southern Tunisia to manage mixed movements more effectively and to identify people in need of international protection.
Self-reliance remained a major issue for people of concern in Tunisia as the economy continued to be challenged by inflation, low growth and high unemployment. According to a socio-economic assessment conducted by UNHCR, 60 per cent of refugees consider that their basic financial needs were not satisfied. To support increased self-reliance for refugees, UNHCR facilitated access to employment and income-generating activities.
Population trendsAt the end of 2017, Tunisia hosted some 720 refugees and 50 asylum-seekers, representing 22 different nationalities with the majority from Syrian Arab Republic (603), who arrived to Tunisia mostly irregularly through Algeria. In spite of mixed movements, the number of refugees did not grow substantially in 2017.
Key achievementsTo strengthen protection space, UNHCR built capacity of local authorities and partners. UNHCR organized trainings for academics, lawyers, service providers and civil society actors. Close to 90 border control officials were also trained to ensure that border control measures allow for the identification and referral of people in need of international protection within the context of mixed movements, including in the context of rescue at sea operations. As a result, on several occasions people rescued at sea were immediately referred to UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies.
- In order to reduce delays in issuance of documentation to refugees and asylum-seekers, there is need for increased personnel and outreach capacity dedicated to registration and refugee status determination.
- In the context of continued inflation, 60 per cent of the refugees felt that their basic financial needs were not met, notably with regard to rent and health-care costs.
- Some 52 per cent of refugee children did not have access to education as a result of mobility, age gaps and language barriers.
Working environmentThe protection and operational environment in Tunisia remains favourable, despite the challenging political, socio-economic and security challenges in the country and in the region.
In the absence of a national asylum law, registration and refugee status determination are conducted by UNHCR and its partners, including for people rescued at sea. There are some 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers registered with UNHCR in Tunisia. UNHCR implements several capacity-building programmes mainly targeting authorities, civil society and media.
UNHCR continues working with the authorities on a draft national law that should strengthen the protection of refugees and asylum-seekers once adopted. Currently, refugees have access to basic services such as health and primary education in Tunisia, with UNHCR covering the cost for the most vulnerable people of concern.
Key prioritiesIn 2017, UNHCR’s operation will focus on:
• setting up a comprehensive national protection system, including the adoption and implementation of the National Asylum Law;
• conducting refugee status determination;
• providing assistance with regard to access to education and health, cash assistance and non-food items and access to socio-economic opportunities;
• durable solutions for refugees.
In the event of a shortfall in funding, the operation will not be able to support people with special needs, such as health and psycho-social, through cash-based interventions. It will also impact livelihoods opportunities and, as a result, limit the integration and self-reliance of refugees in Tunisia.