Tunisia: Floods DREF Bulletin No. MDRTN001 Update No.1


The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

Period covered by this update: 2 May to 25 May, 2007.

History of this Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF)-funded operation:

- CHF 45,000 allocated from the Federations DREF on 1 May, 2007 to respond to the needs of this operation, or to replenish disaster preparedness stocks distributed to the affected population.

- This operation is expected to be implemented over two months, and will be completed by 30 June, 2007; a DREF Bulletin Final Report (narrative and financial) will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 30 September, 2007).

The International Federation undertakes activities that are aligned with its Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and current situation

Torrential rains have affected several governorates in southern Tunisia since 24 April. Hfor El Tine, situated in the city of Tozeur, 400 km from the capital Tunis, was one location badly affected (a video of the disaster is available at the Regional Office upon request). The city is built in a valley and can often be muddy. Following the heavy rains, more than 300 families had to be evacuated from their flooded homes. Most of them were accommodated with relatives, but mosques, youth houses and schools also provided refuge.

Hfor El Tine is a poor district, many of the houses are very old and its geographic situation is deemed problematic The drainage basin of the purification centre (National Sanitation Utility Centre) which is situated in the middle of Hfor el Tine has overflowed into the houses.

The floods happened during the night while habitants were sleeping; therefore they did not have time to react and were forced to leave their houses immediately. Indeed, this sudden situation has caused several material and financial damages to the families who most of them are from the poor social class. The heavy rains have also destructed several houses and killed some backyard animals (poultry).

The Tunisian army, the Civilian Protection and the Tunisian Red Crescent Society have been present on the scene since the very beginning, delivering emergency assistance to the affected population. Families have been evacuated and the Tunisian Red Crescent complemented this by providing food items and distributing clothes to the most affected people.

After these sudden heavy rains, the temperatures went back to the normal of the season and most of the families have been able to return to their houses.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Tunisia: Dr. Tahar Cheniti, Secretary General, Tunisian Red Crescent; email: hilal.ahmar@planet.tn; phone: + 216 71 320 630; fax: + 216 71 320 151

In Tunisia: Anne Elisabeth Leclerc, Head of Office, Regional Office for North Africa; email: ae.leclerc@ifrc.org; phone: + 216 98 33 77 24; fax: + 216 71 862 971

In Geneva: Evgeni Parfenov, Regional Officer, MENA Department; email: evgeni.parfenov@ifrc.org; phone: + 41 22 730 43 25, fax: + 41 22 733 03 95

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org