Current issues and what the World Food Programme is doing
What are the current issues in Tunisia
Tunisia, located in central North Africa between Algeria and Libya, lies along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea close to vital shipping routes for import and export.
Due to its natural resources and agricultural capabilities, Tunisia has a diverse economy. Besides the tourism and agriculture sectors, Tunisia’s major industries include manufactured goods and mining, which together account for over 50 percent of the country’s exports.
Tunisia, located in central North Africa between Algeria and Libya, lies along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea close to vital shipping routes for import and export. Due to its natural resources and agricultural capabilities, Tunisia has a diverse economy. In addition to tourism and agriculture, Tunisia has major industries that include manufactured goods and mining, which together account for over 50 percent of the country’s exports.
According to the United Nations Human Development Report, Tunisia is ranked number 90 out of 187 countries with comparable data. The country’s Human Development Index rose by 1.2% annually between 1980 and 2013, from 0.484 to 0.721 today. Compared to other Arab states with an average of 0.682, Tunisia is above the regional norm. Despite this, high unemployment rates and poor living conditions are among the most prominent issues faced by the country.
Tunisia has undergone a series of significant changes following the revolution of January 2011, which was fueled by high unemployment rates, food inflation and corruption, among other grievances. Tunisia’s political transition gained momentum in early 2014, with the resolution of a political deadlock and the adoption of a new Constitution. Legislative and presidential elections were held between October and December, a successful milestone in the democratic transition. The strategic direction that the new government embarked upon focuses on restoring and maintaining security, while laying the groundwork for a stronger economic recovery.
Following the Tunisian government overthrow in January 2011, a trend of civil protests has swept through the region. Civil protests in neighbouring Libya were countered by harsh military reprisals causing a massive influx of Libyan and third country refugees into southern Tunisia, which caused great stress in the 2011 – 2012 period.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Tunisia
The Tunisia School Feeding Development Project started in December 2013, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between WFP and the Government of Tunisia. The Government requested WFP’s technical assistance to strengthen its ability to improve the quality and sustainability of the existing national school feeding programme, in line with the international school feeding standards outlined in WFP’s School Feeding Policy. In 2014, WFP provided technical assistance and policy advice around three main axes: a review of the existing programme, experience sharing, in particular through study visits, and the development of a Sustainable School Feeding Strategy.
An inter-ministerial School Feeding Steering Committee was established to coordinate the implementation of the project. It’s members include senior representatives of the ministries of Education, Foreign Affairs, Social Affairs, Health, and Agriculture, and a representative from the WFP.
Building on successful cooperation, the government has requested that WFP continue to provide capacity development focused assistance in order to support the implementation of its national Sustainable School Feeding Strategy over a three years period starting in 2015. The goals of WFP’s continued support is to: increase the government’s capacity to manage an enhanced school meals programme by strengthening regulatory frameworks and tools; upgrade the current decentralized school feeding model in selected schools; and pilot new school feeding implementation modalities that are efficient, accountable, and support local development.
Featured Tunisia publications
A Country Brief provides the latest snapshot of the country strategy, operations, operational highlights (achievements and issues/challenges), partnerships and country background.
Looking for more publications on Tunisia? Visit the Tunisia publications archive.