• Crisis Severity ?
     
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
     
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
     
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    1.3
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
     
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 0 People displaced [?]
  • 44 Fatalities reported [?]

Overview

30/07/2020

Tunisia is an important country of origin and transit for migrants hoping 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 and the perceived lack of economic opportunities in Tunisia.?Tunisians are currently the most represented nationality among migrants who arrive in Italy from the Central Mediterranean migration route, making up over 21% of the arrivals since January 2020.?

Though most migrants departing from Tunisia are Tunisians, a growing number of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from other countries arrive in Tunisia with the aim of moving elsewhere, often to Europe.? As of 30 June the country was hosting 4,720 refugees and asylum seekers, primarily from Syria (36%) and Ivory Coast (31%).? Once in Tunisia, many migrants face restricted access to healthcare, shelter, and employment, as well as exposure to protection risks such as human trafficking and scams.? Some migrants also end up becoming trapped in a state of limbo in Tunisia as a result of the government’s practice of imposing fines for residing in the country without proper documentation, as well as making migrants pay for their flights home when deported.?

INFORM measures Tunisia's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be low, at 3.1/10.?

Latest Developments

16/06/2020

Over 4-5 June, a boat carrying migrants sank off the coast of Tunisia (Kerkennah Islands), resulting in at least 61 fatalities, including 22 women and four children. The migrants left from Sfax and were headed to Italy. UNHCR reports a fourfold increase in departures from Tunisia across January-May 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.?

30/04/2020: Following border closures motivated by the COVID-19 outbreak, hundreds of Tunisian migrant workers were stranded at the Tunisia-Libya border post of Ras Jedir in April. Tunisians are periodically allowed back into the country upon agreement of authorities, with 1,000 repatriated as of 27 April and put in mandatory quarantine. Hundreds of migrant workers reportedly forced their way back into Tunisia on 20 April. Other Tunisians are temporarily housed in Zuwara (Libya) waiting for repatriation.Main reported needs were related to food and water.?

For more information on the humanitarian impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, please see the relevant paragraph below.

ACAPS' team is daily monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Find more information related to the outbreak.

COVID-19 Outbreak

01/05/2020

The Tunisian government has reported 1,188 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 50 deaths as of 06 July. The government imposed lockdown measures on 22 March, the measures were eased on 11 May. Many migrant workers, refugees, and asylum seekers, among others, have lost their livelihoods as the informal sector stopped functioning, including construction sites and restaurants. They face risk of eviction as they cannot pay rent, and also have difficulty accessing healthcare services. As of 17 April, 53 migrants detained in al Wardia centre are living in overcrowded spaces with very limited access to hygiene products and health services, including tests for COVID-19, which are scarce. 4,000 migrants in Sfax, Grand Tunis and Zarzis urgently need cash for food and rent, medicines, and childcare products. The government has extended the residence period for foreigners until the pandemic ends, required landlords to suspend rent payments, and committed to granting equal access to COVID-19 care for migrants and Tunisians.?

Key Priorities

23/06/2020

Protection: many migrants in Tunisia fall victim to scams and are subjected to abuse at the hands of smugglers. Other protection concerns for migrants include the risk of deportation and restricted access to services.? Aid agencies estimate that the vast majority of those arriving by land from Libya have suffered abuses and violence and are likely to require psychosocial support.?

Information Gaps

23/06/2020

Tunisia has no severity score in the GCSI due to a lack of data on the humanitarian conditions of migrants countrywide.