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U.S. Announces New Funding to Support Tunisia In Providing Emergency Assistance to Migrants

Chargée d’Affaires Natasha Franceschi,, International Organization for migration’s (IOM) Head of Mission in Tunisia Azzouz Samri, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) Marta Youth announced $4.45 million in new U.S. government support.

This new funding will provide humanitarian assistance and services to vulnerable migrants in Tunisia and will support the
Government of Tunisia’s efforts in providing relief to migrants and asylum seekers. The funding is composed of two parts: A $1 million U.S. voluntary contribution to an emergency appeal from IOM that will provide direct life-saving assistance, emergency shelter, and emergency health care to vulnerable migrants in Tunisia, and facilitate the organization’s case management in Tunisia. Additionally, the U.S. government is providing $3.45 million to IOM to promote equitable access to justice and to support Tunisian efforts to harmonize
Tunisia’s immigration laws with international standards while ensuring transparency, accountability, and respect for migrant rights. Chargée d’Affaires Franceschi underscored, “No single country can resolve irregular migration on its own.  This is true for us in the United States, and it is true here.  It takes the participation of national governments, international institutions like IOM, and civil society organizations, such as the Tunisian Red Crescent Society, working together to protect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. And we must not forget that many times everyday Tunisians are the first to lend a helping hand.”

Franceschi added, “We appreciate the Tunisian government’s commitment to work with IOM, the Tunisian Red Crescent Society, and others to manage the migration response in a humane manner that respects migrant rights and dignity.” IOM’s Chief of Mission in Tunisia Azzouz Samri said, “We look forward to working collaboratively with the Tunisian authorities and key national and international partners to jointly address challenges and support communities in need.” He added, “We will also continue to work with our partners to promote effective migration governance that ensures access to essential services and opportunities, for the most vulnerable communities. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Youth remarked that the new funding “…reflects the urgency of the latest developments. The stakes are high, lives are at risk, and it is our duty to help. Our partnership with IOM is long-standing and global and I am hopeful that this latest contribution for Tunisia will enable us collectively to address this humanitarian challenge by reducing human suffering and helping save lives. It comes in addition to the longstanding support the United States has provided, including to organizations like IOM and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.” In Tunisia, the United States has also provided boats and training to the Tunisian National Guard to help ensure at-sea interdictions are safer. More broadly, U.S. economic development assistance addresses the root economic causes of irregular migration by Tunisian citizens and supports sustainable economic growth to foster inclusive economic prosperity for all Tunisians. In partnership with the Tunisian government, private sector, and civil society, U.S. government sponsored programs have helped more than 49,000 small businesses nationwide create more than 56,000 new jobs and increase sales by more than $610 million.

Source: U.S. Embassy