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In the early years of the 21st Century

Description: Description: Tunisia

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Tunisia in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



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*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook - Tunisia

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 17 November 2020]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 11 January 2021]

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW - its economy – structurally designed to favor vested interests – faced an array of challenges exposed by the 2008 global financial crisis that helped precipitate the 2011 Arab Spring revolution

GDP - per capita (PPP): $11,900 (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 14.8%

industry: 33.2%

services: 51.7% (2014 est.)

Unemployment rate: 15.5% (2017 est.)

Population below poverty line: 15.5% (2010 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 43 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 11 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 76.3 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 98.2% of population

Physicians density: 1.3 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 95.9% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

The Borgen Project - Tunisia

[accessed 20 January 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ Women’s Rights In Tunisia And Entrepreneurship

~ Poverty In Tunisia After The Arab Spring

~ 6 Facts About Healthcare In Tunisia

~ Tunisian Poverty After The Arab Spring

~ World Bank’s Project Restores Tunisian Oases

~ 6 Facts About Healthcare In Tunisia

~ Efforts To Reduce Homelessness In Tunisia

~ 7 Facts About Education In Tunisia

~ Top 10 Facts About Hunger In Tunisia

What Lies Behind the Protests in Tunisia?

Abdul Rahman, NEWSclick, 25 Jan 2021

[accessed 25 January 2021]

LACK OF STATE RESPONSE TO RISING POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT -- In a country where the tourism sector is the largest employer after agriculture, global lockdowns have greatly affected the sector. The decline in tourist inflow, which would otherwise have peaked between June and October, led to massive seasonal and permanent unemployment. 

Tunisia’s economy shrank almost 9% last year – the largest contraction since its independence in 1953. The official rate of unemployment is around 16%. However, the majority of those employed are in seasonal and temporary jobs. Unemployment in the age group of 15 to 25 is over 36%. Though the government has tried some ad hoc measures like banning companies from firing employees during the lockdowns, these are not sustainable. The rising prices of essential commodities have added to the woes of the poor and working class people at a time when incomes have shrunk.

The lack of income and employment opportunities has led to the largest exodus of Tunisians from the country in recent years. As per the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, the country saw a massive jump in migration last year, with 12,883 Tunisians leaving for Italy alone. In 2019, the total number of migrants to Italy was just 2,654. The real numbers are likely to be higher because a large number of migrants are unaccounted.

Hundreds Arrested in Tunisia After ‘Facade Democracy’ Protests

Jihen Laghmari and Souhail Karam, Bloomberg, 18 January 2021

[accessed 19 January 2021]

Similar protests against the lack of opportunity broke out in Sidi Bouzid in late 2019 after a young man set himself on fire, echoing the act of suicidal despair by a street vendor there in December 2010 that sparked the Arab Spring uprisings.

The powerful UGTT trade union called for the demonstrations to end to avoid a violent escalation while acknowledging the “legitimacy of the anger simmering among Tunisian youths, worn out by unemployment, marginalization, poverty, discrimination and social inequality.”

The World Bank in Tunisia

[accessed 21 April 2021]

Tunisia remains a country of contrasts: while important progress has been made on political transition toward an open, democratic system of governance, economic transition has not kept pace.

Looking back a few years …

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 12 January 2021]

Tunisians live a middle class life-style with almost 80% of household owning their own home.

After a period of socialist economic policies Tunisia began a structural reform program with the IMF designed to encourage a market-based economy. Privatization of state-owned enterprises began in 1987 with 67 of the government's 189 companies privatized through 1995.

Despite the beneficial effects that privatizing state-owned enterprises and introducing market reforms can have on the economy (including increasing foreign investment), there are drawbacks. Unemployment remained high in 2003, and the government acknowledged that jobs were being lost through privatization.

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