United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Fight against poverty and vulnerability in Tunisia

United Nations / Multilateral body

    During 2020, the project has supported homeless people, and persons evicted from their homes as a result of the COVID outbreak which has been done through two urgent measures: A concrete support to the Orientation and Social Support Centres in charge of hosting the homeless people and their SAMU Social (Emergency Social Support Service) was given in 3 major and biggest cities of Tunisia, namely Tunis, Sousse and Sfax to provide the Homeless with shelters, access to basic hygiene facilities and socio-psychological support; this was done with the collaboration of the Ministry of social affairs who provided a list of needs.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    •The project was applied with the following activities : Light renovation works to host more homeless people and allow them to practice social distancing, quarantine and self-isolation; supply of furniture. This has increases the accommodation capacity and improve the living conditions. The project allowed works of a light rehabilitation of the women's living unit in the Homeless Center of Tunis, in particular interior and exterior painting, maintenance of the sanitary blocks, and maintenance of the garden. This intervention allowed to improve the conditions of reception of women in the center and generated other interventions financed by other donors such as the purchase of beds, equipped the two living units with air conditioning. Compared to the other centers, the center of Tunis is the center where reception conditions are very critical and needs more follow up from UN-HABITAT side in the following months. As the budget allocated to the works was very low, UN-Habitat in coordination with the Head of the center decided to prioritize and rehabilitate the women's living units and a burnt room which was not used during more than 2 years in the men's living units. This allowed also the improvement of the living conditions of women and their children and the reception conditions and increase capacities of having more homeless men. Another major activtiy was the supply of a vehicle (VAN) for the Tunis Social Support Centre dedicated to their mobile relief teams to reach more homeless people, to strengthen the action of the SAMU Social in greater Tunis and increase its capacity to reach more people homeless in the Street of Tunis. A study of the Socio-psychological support for the Homeless people was done. This has made possible an advocacy and policy support to secure the right to housing for all , amid the Covid-19 outbreak in response to forced evictions and evictions reported by the SAMU Social (Ministry of Social Affairs) and the NGO Médecins du Monde Belgique, during their social relief tours in Tunis and its suburbs. The project supported also the Government in enforcing moratoriums on all evictions and allowing deferrals of mortgage payments by devising strategies that also factor contingency plans to avoid economic challenges for landlords and banks. More information were provided in order to identify center management issues in order to promote the governance model and improve reception conditions and put in place an effective system of supervision and social guidance based on human rights. An assessment of the capacities of the homeless centers in Tunis, Sousse and Sfax in terms of reception conditions and psychological support for the homeless has been done. as well by the project. The Study carried out by a psychologist allowed to raise several failures of supervision and orientation of the homeless, in particular specific human rights challenges. The project allowed also to produce a study on social exclusion around the COVID -Outbreak and allowed the following : - Analysis of measures taken to ensure that migrant workers and domestic staff hosted by their employers continue to have access to safe accommodation during and after the pandemic. -Analysis of measures taken to provide safe accommodation to homeless people during the COVID-19 pandemic Based on this diagnosis, the consultant will propose a series of recommendations and proposals (legal, institutional and operational) to improve the care of these populations, especially during a pandemic .


    The evidence based results were the following : - The accommodation capacity and the living conditions increased and improved (the Centers could host after the project 's interventions 1, 5 more Homeless than before the pandemic); - The SAMU Social internvetion in the Great Tunis (4 Governorates) is improved and its capacity increased to targer more Homeless with the VAN; - Social Center management issues identified clearly with evidence based statiitics and facts in order to promote the governance model, improve reception conditions and put in place an effective system of supervision and social guidance based on human rights of the Homeless in 3 Governorates of Tunisia (Tunis, Sousse and Sfax).

    Enabling factors and constraints

    Enabling factors were the funds with the MPTF which allowed us a very quick response to the growing demand around Homeless needs in the 3 big cities of Tunisia, Tunis, Sousse and Sfax. Al Waleed Philantropies was also key in enalbling the rehabilitation of the 3 centers. Key factor of success was the coordinated work with UN Agencie namely UNFPA and UNAIDS. Strong Diagnosis of the situation allowed also to be clear around the intervention that we want to do. Constraints were the first and Second period of imposed quarantines that had slowed down the access to the Homeless and the Centers.

    Sustainability and replicability

    The project allowed end of December UNHCR in tunisia to mobilise fund for these 3 centers for the Refugess and te Asylum seekers and to improve the reception conditions for the following years. Also, following the studies undertaken by the project, a plan of actions will be discussed with the Ministroy of social affairs, in order to improve the Human rights conditions of these populations. the resident coordinator office in Tunisia has been informed about the situation of Human rights in these centers and the way to support Tunisia to improve them. Medecins du Monde is ready to follow up on the situation with the tunisian authorities with concrete measures to improve the conditions but also activities for the Homeless.

    COVID-19 Impact

    COVID-19 was key to implement thi project and to allow participation to the SDGs implementation and improvement. The first key insight was the rapidity of the UN response that came together and more effective during the crisis, despite the fact that the country didn't have a nominated RC at that time (the RC ai was the UNICEF representative). Building back better was the moto of the UNCT Team and the UN Habitat management and Team. Mitigation measures were a common plateform of exchange of informations and actions related to the response. A canal of informations with Keny national partners is also key. The Technology was also a key partner to improve our action in the field, and especially to reach effectively our partners.

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    01 April 2020 (start date)
    31 January 2021 (date of completion)
    UN-Habitat Tunisia
    Other beneficiaries

    Beneficiaries : Homeless Women : Baseline 0 - Target 300 - achieved indicator target : 403 Number of women who receive GBV services through the newly- established shelter : Baseline 0 - Target 128 - achieved indicator target : 209 Number of young people who receive psychological support : Baseline 0 - Target 5000 - achieved indicator target : 62 Number of persons with disabilities who receive adapted information related to COVID19 by sex: Baseline 0 - Target 2000- achieved indicator target : 328747 Number of persons with disabilities who receive social aid by sex and age group: Baseline 0 - Target 500- achieved indicator target : 637 Number of LGBTQ who receive psychological consultations, access totheir treatment and social aid: Baseline 0 - Target200 - achieved indicator target : 258 Indicator: Number of young people that participated to the Youth needs assessment (Impact of COVID19 on young people) - Baseline 0 - Target 1200- achieved indicator target : 1676 Number of homeless people who benefit from shelter or assistance by sex and age group : Baseline 86 - Target 120 - achieved indicator target : 408 for each center Key stakeholders: Ministry of social Affairs, Ministry of Women, children, and elder population, UN Habitat, UNFPA, UNAIDS Key partners : MPTF trust fund, Al waleed Philantropies, ATL- MST Sida, local NGOs, Medecins du Monde

    More information
    Contact Information

    AIDA , Support to the Vulnerable Homeless affected by the COVID-19 in Tunisia