Tunisia + 6 more

UNHCR Tunisia: COVID-19 emergency preparedness and response plan

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  • 643 CASES OF COVID-19 REPORTED BY TUNISIAN AUTHORITIES
  • 4,494 REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS
  • $1.5 million NEEDED IN ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THREE MONTHS
  • UNHCR’s focus ON REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS GIVEN ITS MANDATE
    Figures as of 09 April, 2020 or latest available data

While the progression of the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic continues in Tunisia and globally, UNHCR is stepping up its support to urgently address preparedness and response gaps that increasingly impact refugees, asylum seekers and their host communities over the next months.

Additional needs for the COVID-19 response are estimated at USD 1.5 million for a three-month period. Since the first COVID-19 case was detected in Tunisia on 2 March, more than 643 cases have been officially reported by the Ministry of Health across the country, as of 9 April. While there are no confirmed reports of refugees in Tunisia having tested positive for COVID-19, this vulnerable group is deeply affected by the measures the Government is taking to mitigate the spread of the virus, especially those accommodated in UNHCR collective shelters who are at greater risk as the outbreak evolves

The Government of Tunisia has adopted vital and evidence-based public health measures to help control the spread of COVID-19.

The country-wide lockdown has hit services very hard, including the tourism, trade and transportation sectors that account for more than a quarter of all jobs in the economy.

This health crisis is a reminder that to effectively combat any public health emergency, everyone—including refugees and asylum seekers—should be able to access health facilities and services.

If the virus further spreads—especially into areas hosting refugees and asylum seekers—it could affect hundreds of people, bringing with it a setback to the lives of refugees and local communities alike, as well as to the local integration ambitions of refugees. The virus can only be eliminated if we all join forces.

On 25 March, UNHCR declared COVID-19 a Global Level 2 Emergency as per its internal policy, activating emergency procurement procedures and giving country teams maximum flexibility in providing assistance.