Tunisia + 2 more

UNHCR Tunisia Operational Update - 31 March 2022


Key figures

  • 9,547 people of concern to UNHCR (asylum-seekers & refugees)

  • 322 people of concern to UNHCR registered in Tunisia in 2022

  • 23 individuals profiled within mixed movements in 2022

  • 480 refugee and asylum-seeking households received cash assistance during March 2022

Operational Context

On 18-19 March, Tunisian authorities retrieved the bodies of 25 individuals from a beach in Nabeul, northeast Tunisia. Reportedly, the bodies came from a boat departed from Tunisia on 15 March with 60 individuals onboard that went missing in the Mediterranean.

Among them, eight Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR were identified, while many others remain missing. UNHCR and its partner, the Tunisian Refugee Council (CTR), have liaised with the authorities and supported the families with burial expenses. The Central Mediterranean Route remains one of the most dangerous migratory routes, with 394 people missing in the first quarter of the year, and 1,977 in 2021, according to UNHCR estimates.

UNHCR Tunisia continues to face funding shortfall that has obliged the operation to scale back its monthly cash-based support since February 2022. An additional $2 million remains immediately needed to resume cash assistance and scale-up the response to respond to increased needs for 1,000 people of concern to UNHCR until the end of the year.

Operational Response

UNHCR and CTR celebrated the International Women’s Day and the Women’s History Month with several activities dedicated to women and girls from refugee and host communities in Tunis,
Sousse, Kairouan, and Medenine; including awareness sessions on sexual and reproductive health, free medical check-ups, handcraft workshops, movie projections, and debates.

Those activities aimed at sensitizing against gender-based violence, encouraging women empowerment, as well as promoting women rights, respect for diversity, and fighting stereotypes.

From 6 to 11 March, a UNHCR health expert conducted a mission in Tunisia with the aim to review UNHCR’s Health Strategy in Tunisia, as well as the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the provision of health assistance to the population of concern.

During the mission, the expert met UNHCR staff, partners, and people of concern to UNHCR to gather their feedback on the quality of healthcare services. The expert visited the shelters, met with public health officials and managers of public hospitals, private clinics, and pharmacies. The recommendations formulated will help UNHCR and its partners to efficiently restructure the way they support refugees and asylum-seekers in response to healthcare needs.

UNHCR provided clothing and other essential items to 30 refugee and host community families thanks to the coordination between UNHCR, the Child Protection Delegate and civil society of Tataouine, Medenine and Gabes in the identification of people in need.
In Gabes, the association “Cinema for all” launched a movie club for Syrian children. The first event of the club saw the participation of 13 refugee children and included movie screening and short video production, used as a tool for creative and free self-expression.