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Tunisia: UNHCR Tunisia Operational Update - 30 April 2019

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Libya, Tunisia
Key figures: 1,843 Persons of Concern to UNHCR 553 New arrivals registered since Jan 2019 1,241 Individuals profiled in Mixed Migration movements (since Jan 2018) 542 (44%) asylum-seekers referred to UNHCR among those profiled Highlights UNHCR Tunisia and its partners are closely monitoring the situation at the border with Libya. Since hostilities began on 4 April 2019, no significant influx of asylum seekers from Libya to Tunisia were recorded. Coordination meetings were held between UNHCR and IOM, the two leading agencies to respond to an influx of population from Libya, and the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs, in order to scale up emergency preparedness. As of 30 April 2019, UNHCR Tunisia registered 1,843 persons of concern, including 1,232 refugees and 601 asylum-seekers. Since the last quarter of 2018, asylum applications among the mixed migration flow from Libya to Tunisia were on the rise, putting pressure on the limited capacity of the UNHCR shelter in the city of Medenine. For this reason, two additional emergency shelters were opened in Zarzis (Medenine Governorate) and the relocation programme to urban settings was scaled up. Since the beginning of the year, 241 individuals were relocated to urban areas. A total of 402 individuals received non-food items and 421 cash vouchers. On 4 April 2019, UNHCR partner Arab Institute for Human Rights (IADH) organized a study visit to Tunisia (Medenine and Sfax) for the benefit of a governmental delegation from Mauritania, accompanied by UNHCR’s Representative to Mauritania.
The aim of the visit was to exchange information and learn best practices on the protection of refugees and asylum seekers in mixed migration contexts. From 8 to 12 April 2019, a delegation including the Arab Institute for Human Rights (IADH), UNHCR and Tunisian ministry representatives conducted a study visit to Sweden, in the framework of the EU–Italy funded project “Regional Development and Protection Programme for North Africa - RDPP NA III”. The study visit offered participants a firsthand opportunity to observe how Sweden’s asylum system works and how it maintains protection standards to address the needs of most vulnerable refugees. On 17 April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy announced a EUR 5 million provision to UNHCR to fund assistance services for refugees. This includes a EUR 2 M contribution to UNHCR Tunisia to improve reception and shelter conditions for refugees and asylum seekers in the south of the country, in the governorates of Sfax and Medenine.


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