• Crisis Severity ?
    1.8
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    3.2
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0.6
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    2.2
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
     
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 819 Fatalities reported [?]

Overview

18/01/2022

Tunisia is an important country of origin and transit for migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Since mid-2017, the number of Tunisians attempting to migrate to Europe has increased significantly, driven in large part by high unemployment rates and the perceived lack of economic opportunities in Tunisia.? Over 813,000 Tunisians (about 7% of the total population) are estimated to live abroad, with 77% in Europe.?Tunisians are currently the most represented nationality among migrants who arrive to Italy from the Central Mediterranean migration route, making up about 24% of the arrivals since January 2021.? 

 

Though most migrants departing from the country are Tunisians, a growing number of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from other countries have been arriving in Tunisia with the aim of travelling elsewhere, often to Europe.? As at 30 November 2021, the country was hosting over 9,200 refugees and asylum seekers, primarily from the Ivory Coast (38%) and Syria (27%).?  Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Tunisia are facing restricted access to healthcare, shelter, and employment, as well as exposure to protection risks such as human trafficking and scams, because of the absence of a formal national asylum system guaranteeing access to services and documentation.?

Latest Developments

28/09/2022

More than 6,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers – almost half of them from Syria – will likely be among the groups most affected by the economic and political issues facing Tunisia. They already have needs for temporary shelter, food, education, healthcare, and psychosocial support. Access to food for refugees and asylum seekers is likely to become more difficult because of shortages in commodities such as sugar, milk, butter, cooking oil, and rice since at least the beginning of September, linked to a lack of foreign reserves and the government’s inability to import goods. The inflation rate reached 9% in September, up from 7% in February and 6% in September 2021. Inflation, rising prices, and political instability is driving more Tunisians to migrate to Europe. The number of Tunisians arriving in Italy from the Central Mediterranean migration route over January-August was 23% higher than in January-August 2021.?

Update from the October 2021 Risk Analysis

25/03/2022

LOW RISK LEVEL

Prolonged sociopolitical unrest leads to violent protests and localised violence resulting in protection and human rights concerns, humanitarian access impediments, and disruption of the COVID-19 response

The Tunisian president Kais Saied extended the parliament suspension until a new election on 17 December 2022 and announced a constitutional referendum to be held on July 2022.? The president also terminated the Supreme Judicial Council and named a new temporary one.? These exceptional measures, and general social and political dissatisfaction, led to violent protests between November 2021 and January 2022. There were reports of riot police using tear gas, sticks, and water cannons against protesters, resulting in one death and several injuries.? Opposition movements have faced human rights violations and arbitrary arrests.? There have been no reports of the sociopolitical and economic situation disrupting the COVID-19 response. Tunisia announced a loan of USD 7 billion from foreign lenders for their 2022 budget, making government debt 83% of gross domestic product.? The deterioration of the socioeconomic situation has affected population groups already in humanitarian need, including migrants and refugees. Many of them are without jobs. They also remain subject to different forms of exploitation, such as human trafficking, forced labour, and arbitrary arrests. Migrants protested on 14 February asking for evacuation from Tunisia.? Migrants have also continued attempting to cross to Europe by sea for better opportunities.?

Key Priorities

18/01/2022

Protection: Many migrants in Tunisia are a victim of fraud and subjected to abuse at the hands of smugglers. Other protection concerns for migrants include the risk of deportation and restricted access to services because of the absence of a formal national asylum system.?

Information Gaps

18/01/2022

Tunisia has no severity score in the Inform Severity Index because of the lack of data on the humanitarian conditions of migrants countrywide.