Refugees and asylum-seekers in Tunisia originate mainly from the Middle East, sub-Sahara and the horn of Africa. Most reach Tunisia by land or air from neighbouring countries, and within mixed movements, by sea or land to/from Libya/Algeria.
Tunisia has yet to adopt a national asylum system. UNHCR is the sole entity responsible for conducting registration and Refugee Status Determination (RSD). The unpredictable political and socio-economic situation provides limited durable solutions for most refugees and asylum-seekers.
UNHCR collaborates closely with national and local authorities to improve access of refugees and asylum-seekers to basic and social services, and to ensure their socioeconomic inclusion.
COVID – 19 IN TUNISIA
Total infections exceeded 960,000 during February 2022, ranking Tunisia among the most affected countries in Africa. Over 60% of the population is fully vaccinated. Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants are included in the vaccination campaign thanks to coordinated advocacy, and UNHCR is supporting refugees and asylumseekers in registering for the vaccine. As of end 2021, 344 refugees and asylum-seekers were fully vaccinated as verified by UNHCR partner Tunisian Refugee Council (CTR), although the estimated total number of is estimated to be much higher (over 3,000 individuals).
UNHCR Tunisia continues its support to healthcare structures, government institutions, local authorities and civil society through distributing hygiene and medical material, as well as installation of Refugee Housing Units (36 so far) for patient screening in hospitals and isolation of cases. Psychosocial support and communication with communities (CwC) continued to be provided for people of concern. Sessions on COVID-19 prevention methods and work sessions on access to health services were also organized. The presence of dedicated medical personnel was put in place in UNHCR-run shelters and hygiene kits and personal protective equipment is being distributed to refugees, asylum-seekers, and individuals rescued at sea.