Tunisia: Realities and needs of migrants and refugees in the governorate of Medenine since September 2018 - Executive Summary (September 2019)

SUMMARY

During the last quarter of 2018, the governorate of Medenine recorded an evolution in terms of migratory dynamics, characterized by an increase in the arrivals of migrants and refugees. In fact, the number of newly arrived refugees and migrants being referred to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) or their partners, has risen substantially during recent months. While 516 newly arrived migrants and refugees, most of whom had flown directly towards Tunisia and less than half had transited through Libya1 , were referred between January and September 2018, the number of newly arrived refugees and migrants being referred more than doubled to 1077 between October 2018 to July 20192 . Of these new arrivals, almost 80% transited through Libya, with half having taken the land route, mainly via the governorate of Medenine, and more than a fifth having been rescued or intercepted in Tunisian waters. The increase in the number of arrivals has also been accompanied by a change in the profiles of migrants and refugees, including a significant presence of East African nationalities. In view of these developments, information on the drivers of migration in Medenine, the priority needs of migrants and refugees, the modalities of their interaction with the host community, and their migratory intentions remains limited.

To address this lack of information, REACH, in partnership with Humanity and Inclusion (HI), conducted a study on the'' Realities and needs of migrants and refugees in the governorate of Medenine since September 2018'' funded by Start Network's Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF). Data collection was conducted from 24 July to 7 August 2019 in the cities of Medenine and Zarzis, which host the largest numbers of refugees and migrants in the governorate of Medenine. This study aims to analyse the following elements of the migratory dynamics in the governorate of Medenine: (1) the recent evolutions in the migratory dynamics, (2) the drivers of migration, (3) the priority needs of migrants and refugees in terms of access to services and livelihoods and associated coping mechanisms, (4) the current response of the different stakeholders, (5) the modalities of interaction between migrants and refugees and the host community and (6) the migration intentions.

This study was based on 60 individual interviews with female and male migrants and refugees who had arrived in the governorate after September 2018, 24 interviews with key informants (KIs) selected on the basis of their expertise and knowledge of the recent migration dynamics in southern Tunisia and 4 focus group discussions (FGDs) with representatives of the host community in the cities of Medenine and Zarzis. Due to the qualitative nature of the study, the results should be considered as indicative only.