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UNHCR Tunisia Operational Update - 31 July 2022

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Operational Context

UNHCR is providing ongoing support to the group of 213 individuals, composed of refugees, asylum seekers, and individuals who do not fall under UNHCR’s mandate, who staged an extended sit-in outside UNHCR’s office from April to June 2022. Following positive dialogue with demonstrators, who called for resettlement and evacuation throughout the protests, UNHCR and partners completed their relocation to safe shelters on 18 June. Food vouchers, hygiene kits, and core relief items (CRIs) were distributed during the relocation process, while individual counselling and psychosocial support are still being provided to those in the shelters on a daily basis. Specific case management planning for gender-based violence and child protection was also undertaken by UNHCR’s protection team.

Operational Response

To ensure an enabling protection environment, UNHCR undertook several meetings in July with specialized international organizations to identify integrated strategies for supporting refugees and asylum seekers in Tunisia. On 26 July, UNHCR met with the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) to explore the possibility of coordination on durable solutions for survivors of torture and violence. On 27 July, UNHCR met with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to explore their capacity to provide phone calls to access humanitarian needs and other messaging services to displaced persons. In July, UNHCR also met with Save the Children to discuss a series of workshops to support displaced parents and guardians and provide them with parenting skills and information on stress and trauma experienced by children.

During July, a home visits program reached out to a group of refugees with disabilities living in urban areas in southern Tunisia. With UNHCR’s support, the Tunisian Council for Refugees (CTR) will deploy health professionals and case workers to visit refugees in Zarzis and Medenine to provide health awareness sessions, while informing refugees on various issues such as personal hygiene, maternal care, and the importance of vaccination.

In July, UNHCR organized recreational activities for displaced children residing in the Olive Shelter in Zarzis, providing integration support and learning/recreational activities. Creative expression workshops of drawing, cooking, and dancing were implemented by case workers in the shelter to encourage a positive atmosphere for newly arriving children while helping them with their transition from their home countries to Tunisia.