Under the slogan “to make from the planet a homeland for its inhabitants”, The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) organized last Tuesday a Solidarity Day with the refugees and some Tunisian families, with the partnership of the Japan embassy to Tunisia with the partner of UNHCR namely, the Tunisian Council of Refugee, the Tunisian Union of Social Solidarity and the National Body for the Fight against Human Trafficking.
This meeting chaired by Dr. Hannan Hamdan UNHCR’s Representative in Tunisia and attended by the Ambassador of Japan to Tunisia in the headquarter of the Tunisian Council of Refugees headed by its President Mustapha Djemeli, aims to give psychological assistance especially to the refugees and some needy Tunisian families affected by the COVID -19 pandemic.
This day was an opportunity to express and to reiterate the sentiments of solidarity and support to the families by distributing gifts in kind to some 9,000 individuals in Tunisia, including nearly 6,700 refugees and asylum seekers under UNHCR’s protection and roughly 2,400 Tunisians living in vulnerable situations.
“It is significant that we are having this gathering today in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in the spirit of solidarity and support with these vulnerable populations”, said Dr.Hannan Hamdan in her speech.
“As we all know the COVID-19 crisis has and will continue to have devastating consequences for these people. Refugee, asylum seekers and their host have been disproportionately affected exacerbated pre-existing and on-going vulnerabilities, leading to income loss and reduced household purchasing power.
The onset of COVID-19 crisis has also dangerously strained national and local capacities across refugee-hosting regions”, she pointed out.
She added “I wish to thank all the partners who were involved in this project including the Embassy of Japan, with whom we are pleased to kick-off a new partnership opportunity with this project and another one coming soon,” adding “I also commend CTR and UTSS, whose contributions to the UNIQLO project has been immense and beyond expectations, and of course INLTP whose commitment to work with UNHCR is clear”.
This collaboration sets a good example for the future, she noted, voicing “hope this opportunity can be replicated in the future to other areas of work and I look forward to continuing strengthening our cooperation with each and one of you, she concluded.
In this connection, Mr. Shinsuke Shimizu, Ambassador of Japan to Tunisia, emphasized the history with UNHCR, given its essential and lasting humanitarian assistance and contribution to refugees and asylum seekers in 75 countries.
For his part, Mr. Mustapha Djemeli, President of the Tunisian Council of Refugees, stated that the number of refugees in Tunisia has doubled more than four in a limited time (from 1,500 in 2018 to 6,700 in 2021).
All we agree that refugees are facing tremendous challenges in these delicate and critical circumstances and the urgent need that the donor community continue its unwavering support in order to facilitate the work of these great humanitarian organizations.
TunisianMonitorOnline (Abdellatif Garrouri)