Tunisia + 1 more

UNHCR Tunisia Operational Update - September 2021

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Situation Report
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Key Figures:

8,854 total persons of concern to UNHCR registered in Tunisia (refugees and asylumseekers).

3,156 persons of concern to UNHCR registered so far in Tunisia in 2021.

633 individuals profiled within mixed movements.

80% of individuals profiled expressed an intention to seek asylum in Tunisia.

503 refugee and asylum-seeking households received cash assistance during August.

Operational Context

During the month of September, the COVID-19 situation in Tunisia improved significantly thanks to an accelerated national vaccination campaign. Around four million people were fully vaccinated, equivalent to some 33% of the overall population. Most movement restrictions including night curfew were ultimately lifted. UNHCR partner the Tunisian Refugee Council (CTR) continued its information campaign on vaccinations, which commenced in August 2021. Leaflets on prevention measures and vaccinations were distributed to some 160 refugees and asylum-seekers, and 152 individuals were enrolled on the national EVAX vaccination platform. So far, 315 refugees and asylumseekers in Tunisia have been vaccinated.

Operational Response

UNHCR provided emergency assistance to 61 individuals rescued at sea. UNHCR will proceed with profiling, registration and additional support. Since the beginning of the year, UNHCR provided assistance to 577 persons rescued at sea, including rapid COVID19 test on arrival, shelter, food and non-food items and medical assistance.

Three individuals detained in the Al Wardia Reception and Orientation centre were able to access asylum procedures and were later registered with UNHCR thanks to collaboration between UNHCR and the Direction of Borders and Foreigners (DFE). Moreover, UNHCR conducted two RSD interviews in Al Wardia center as part of a newly agreed coordination mechanism between UNHCR and the DFE.

UNHCR and its partners organized a series of focus group discussions in Tataouine, Medenine and Zarzis governorates, with the participation of 54 refugees and asylum-seekers. The sessions aimed to better understand their needs and establish a dialogue with community leaders. Moreover, 65 refugees and asylum-seekers in Grand Tunis governorates took part in focus group discussions to inform on UNHCR and CTR assistance and protection services.

A women’s club was inaugurated in Ibn Khaldun shelter in Medenine to encourage female participation in the assessment, implementation and evaluation of protection responses. During the first meeting, the members of the club were able to share their feedback with UNHCR and its partners so to inform protection and shelter response.

Twenty-two refugees and asylum seekers residing in Tataouine Governorate benefitted from medical checkups through home visits by medical personnel from UNHCR partner CTR. These visits are particularly important in identifying chronic diseases and other underlying conditions amongst persons of concern.

During September, UNHCR partner the Arab Institute for Human Rights (AIHR) organized the first editorial board meeting for an Arabic e-journal on displacement issues, launching its first general call for papers. The journal falls under activities conducted by UNHCR and AIHR, aimed at contributing to judicial research and debate on issues related on asylum, forced displacement and statelessness.

Power Coders, a coding academy partnering UNHCR, and the Tunisian start-up WeCode, organized a coding boot-camp for refugees, asylum-seekers and members of host communities, with the aim of evaluating their existing IT skills for future employment opportunities.

UNHCR Tunisia is grateful for the support of: Austria | European Union | Japan | Luxembourg | Monaco | Netherlands | RDPP North Africa – EU | Switzerland and to those who have contributed to UNHCR programmes with unearmarked and softly earmarked funds.