Contribution to the UNHCR's activities in Tunisia 2022

Contract partner: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Tunesien Funding amount: € 2.000.000,00 Project start: 01.01.2022 End: 31.12.2022

Short Description:

Overall goal

The main objective of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Tunisia’s programme is to contribute to strengthening reception conditions, the delivery of critical protection assistance to persons of concern (POCs) and their access to essential services in Tunisia, especially those who arrive with irregular movements of refugees and migrants along the Central Mediterranean routes, from Sub-Saharan Africa to North Africa and onwards to Europe. Ultimately, UNHCR’s efforts aim at contributing to the creation of stabilizing conditions to prevent dangerous and irregular journeys, either back to Libya or across the Mediterranean Sea.

Expected results

In 2022, UNHCR Tunisia aims to achieve the following key results targeting the most vulnerable persons of concern registered with UNHCR:

1) Adequate temporary accommodation is provided. UNHCR will continue offering temporary accommodation to the most vulnerable persons seeking international protection, prioritizing individuals rescued/intercepted at sea or who have arrived overland.

2) Access to primary health care is facilitated. UNHCR will ensure continuous access to medical care services in national health facilities and targeted medical consultations. Distribution of core relief items, such as hygiene kits and supplies, and provision of additional cleaning equipment/services in shelter facilities managed by UNHCR, will continue to be part of preventive health measures.

3) Individual psychosocial support provided. UNHCR will maintain mental health and psychological support services for all persons of concern in need of dedicated support, while strengthening other core protection activities and prioritizing those at risk such as women, children, older persons, and persons with disabilities.

4) Legal support, including information, counselling and legal advice is provided. UNHCR will continue providing legal support, including information, counselling, and legal advice, systematizing the response to recurring legal issues faced by POCs. This kind of assistance helps setting legal precedents and contributes to the strengthening of the asylum space in Tunisia.

5) Capacity-development of local authorities supported. UNHCR will continue to work with cities and municipalities that host refugees and asylum-seekers and that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, to secure and expand POCs and host communities’ access to existing basic services.

Target group / Beneficiaries

In total, Austria's combined EUR 2,000,000 contribution will reach around 3,800 beneficiaries (refugees and asylum-seekers, out of which 62% are male and 38% female, including 25% children (0-17 years old)).

The project will target all regions of Tunisia. While refugees and asylum seekers

are present in almost all of the 24 governorates of the country, 80% of them have moved into urban and peri-urban areas in the regions of Great Tunis, Sfax and Medenine.

UNHCR continuously adjusts implementation modalities to its protection and solutions strategy, notably by working with local NGOs having operational and advocacy experience and knowledge of the local refugee context. In 2022, UNHCR protection and assistance programmes are implemented both directly by UNHCR and through bilateral partnerships with three national NGOs: the Tunisian Council for Refugees (CTR) for registration and basic needs assistance; the Arab Institute for Human Rights (AIHR) for all legal, advocacy and capacity-building support; and the Tunisian Association for Management and Social Stability for self-reliance and livelihood activities. All activities are planned and implemented in close coordination with NGO partners and in collaboration with central (presidency, ministries) and local level (governors, municipalities, regional directorates) authorities’ counterparts, with whom UNHCR entertains close and positive relationships.


Activities include: Provision of temporary, safe, and clean shelter in Tunis and southern Tunisia for extremely vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers; Facilitation of access to national healthcare facilities; Mental health and psychosocial support and/or legal advice to POCs; Legal support and assistance; Support government stakeholders at the local level with a view to improving existing good practices, expanding refugees and asylum-seekers’ access to their rights and ultimately enabling their inclusion in national and legal systems.


At the crossroads of migratory routes between Africa and Europe, Tunisia is under increasing migratory pressure with the growing presence of populations fleeing human rights violations or poverty in their country of origin.

Since the beginning of 2021, the number of people departing by sea from Tunisia to Europe has more than doubled compared to the same period in 2020, confirming the growing trend that has characterized Tunisia since 2018 as a transit and departure country for people seeking a route to Europe. In particular, the number of non-Tunisians departing by sea surpassed Tunisian nationals during October 2021. As a matter of fact, Tunisia has become a major regional hub for mixed population movements.

While Tunisian authorities continue to provide access to territory and some services to persons seeking international protection on its soil, refugees and asylum-seekers registered with UNHCR in Tunisia remain in an overall precarious, legal, and socio-economic situation, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project will be implemented at a time when UNHCR Tunisia is reinforcing its multi-partner multi-stakeholder engagement through the identification of relevant humanitarian-development-peace nexus entry points, largely framed, in the local context, as an investment to create stabilizing conditions for populations on the move.

Building on lessons learnt of the 2021 implementation, UNHCR’s 2022 strategic response will be guided by two overarching priorities: Firstly, a scale-up of core humanitarian protection services and multi-sectorial assistance to address the needs of increased new arrivals. Secondly, a greater coherent and harmonized programming to ensure the viability and continuity of socio-economic inclusion efforts alongside enhanced partnerships with municipalities, private sector, and development actors to enhance social cohesion with local host communities.

project number 2865-01/2022
source of funding AKF
sector Humanitäre Hilfe: Sofortmaßnahmen
marker Democracy: 2, Poverty: 1
  • Policy marker: are used to identify, assess and facilitate the monitoring of activities in support of policy objectives concerning gender equality, aid to environment, participatory development/good governance, trade development and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Activities targeting the objectives of the Rio Conventions include the identification of biodiversity, climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation, and desertification.
    • 1= policy is a significant objective of the activity
    • 2= policy is the principal objective of the activity
  • Donor/ source of funding: The ADA is not only implementing projects and programmes of the Austrian Development Cooperation , but also projects funded from other sources and donors such as
    • AKF - Foreign Disaster Fund of the Austrian federal government
    • BMLFUW - Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water
    • EU - Funds of the European Commission
    • Others - various other donors are listed in ADA’s annual business report.
  • Type of Aid – Aid modalities: classifies transfers from the donor to the first recipient of funds such as budget support, core contributions and pooled programmes and funds to CSOs and multilateral organisations, project-type interventions, experts and other technical assistance, scholarships and student costs in donor countries, debt relief, administrative costs and other in-donor expenditures.
  • Purpose/ sector code: classifies the specific area of the recipient’s economic or social structure, funded by a bilateral contribution.
  • Tied/Untied: Untied aid is defined as loans and grants whose proceeds are fully and freely available to finance procurement from all OECD countries and substantially all developing countries. Transactions are considered tied unless the donor has, at the time of the aid offer, clearly specified a range of countries eligible for procurement which meets the tests for “untied” aid.