Tunisia

Yadh Bousselmi

Country Facts

DRC present since:

2011

Staff on location:

23

People in need:

8,185

Displacement Situation 

Although Tunisia is often presented as an Arab Spring success story in terms of democratic change, many of the political, social and economic grievances that existed before the ‘Jasmine Revolution of 2011 persist. Since 2011, Tunisia has been going through a democratic transition process with varying successes and challenges. Along with some political breakthroughs, such as the periodic elections, the peaceful transition and handover of power as well as the improvement of the Human Rights legal system, economic grievances and socio-economic disparities between regions that existed before the 2011 revolution persist and continue to feed frustration among the population in general and, in particular, Tunisian youth.  

Tunisia is both a transit and destination country for migrants and refugees. From 2015 to 2020, the number of asylum seekers and refugees has quadrupled while Tunisians took over as the first nationality regarding arrivals to Italian shores with a noticeable peak between 2020 and 2021 due to the above factors and the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. A large majority transit through Libya into Medenine Governorate in Tunisia’s south, where conflict, violence and border policy contributes to increased fragility among migrants.

Protection issues among migrants include access to shelter, legal documentation, livelihood opportunities, education and exclusion from their surrounding environment. Abusive smuggling practices and trafficking are key concerns, especially in the Libyan/Tunisian borderlands. Without adequate protection, migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers in Tunisia are extremely vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and negative coping mechanisms..  

The country is still lacking a proper asylum system and a clear migration policy. A draft asylum law is still under review since the completion of its drafting process in 2018 and a National Migration Strategy is yet to be finalized.

DRC Response 

DRC has been working in Tunisia since 2011 as part of a coordinated Libya-Tunisia program responding to regional instability following the Arab Spring revolutions. DRC has been one of the main implementing agencies providing services in Shousha refugee camp, as well as to refugees living in urban centres in southern Tunisia. Since 2014, DRC has been implementing a series of armed violence reduction projects aimed at enhancing community security and resilience in key border towns in Tunisia. In 2018, DRC expanded its community safety programming from Ben Guerdane and Dehiba, Tunisia, across the border into the Libyan border cities of Zuwara, Nalut, and Wazin. This ongoing intervention seeks to address border management holistically, investing in analyzing the full system of dynamics that cause tension within and across communities and which fuels insecurity and illicit trade throughout the border region.

DRC Tunisia has been additionally engaged in protection activities benefiting to the migrant population in the south through cash-based interventions and ad hoc assistance actions such as back to school assistance to primary schools in borderland areas hosting refugee children.

As youth and self-reliance constitute two of DRC Tunisia priorities, focused research and surveys have been conducted to identify needs and shape the operation’s current and future programming for an optimized service delivery and to implement DRC’s vision of enabling displaced populations and local vulnerable communities to have a dignified life.

Contact

Yadh Bousselmi

Country Represenative - Tunisia

[email protected]

James Curtis

Regional Director

[email protected]

Snapshots

Getting back to school in the borderland areas of southern Tunisia

In southern Tunisia, schools in refugee hosting communities in the borderland areas of Dhehiba, Benguerdene and Medenine are preparing for children to return to school after having been closed due to Covid-19. As DRC is already delivering a Violence Prevention project along the borders, we are also keen to assist hosting communities and relevant authorities in the overall efforts to secure a safe learning environment for the children in these challenging pandemic times. DRC is, therefore, providing PPE equipment, thermometers and sanitation supplies to four schools as well as white boards, markers, notebooks and pens, which will provide for a fresh start for the pupils, which include refugee children.

Getting back to school in the borderland areas of southern Tunisia

In southern Tunisia, schools in refugee hosting communities in the borderland areas of Dhehiba, Benguerdene and Medenine are preparing for children to return to school after having been closed due to Covid-19. As DRC is already delivering a Violence Prevention project along the borders, we are also keen to assist hosting communities and relevant authorities in the overall efforts to secure a safe learning environment for the children in these challenging pandemic times. DRC is, therefore, providing PPE equipment, thermometers and sanitation supplies to four schools as well as white boards, markers, notebooks and pens, which will provide for a fresh start for the pupils, which include refugee children.

Spapshot Tunisia 13.11.2020