ALAC’s approach to COVID-19
Provide legal assistance to citizens, as well as work with other civil society organisations and government to enhance Tunisia’s COVID-19 response. This is with a view to improve the country’s social accountability mechanisms.
Tunisia’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre (ALAC) is dedicated to provide legal assistance to all citizens, and it works in partnership with Transparency International Chapter in Tunisia, IWatch. In 2020, IWatch and the ALAC have cooperated with local government and other civil society organisations to enhance the country’s COVID-19 response. Their efforts have been mostly around developing (i) a whistleblowing platform to track legal infractions vis-à-vis the lockdown regulations; (ii) a tracking platform to monitor people with COVID symptoms staying home; and (iii) and a monitoring platform to ensure funds and medical equipment arrive at hospitals.
As of 25 June 2020, Tunisia has 1160 cases confirmed, 1023 people have recovered, and there have been 50 deaths.
Despite the low rate of infection, the government has taken a proactive approach to tackle COVID-19. Since 22nd March, the Tunisian government imposed a curfew and a general lockdown. On 8th June, Tunisian President Kais Saied ordered the lifting of a nationwide curfew, after a consistent drop in infections.
The government of Tunisia has also been a recipient of financial aid to enhance its COVID-19 response. The World Bank has made available US$35 million to support Tunisia’s Ministry of Health with essential equipment and medical supplies ; the IMF Executive Board approved a US$745 million emergency assistance loan ; the European Union has granted Tunisia EUR 250 million in aid ; and Tunisia has set up a coronavirus solidarity 1818 Fund to fight against Covid-19 (individuals and companies can contribute), which has collected 200 million TND so far.
At the time the outbreak started, Tunisia was facing serious macroeconomic imbalances. In addition, Tunisia has limited health infrastructure. The country has about 250 intensive care beds for all its inhabitants (11.5 million).
- Whistleblowing platform: The ALAC in Tunisia partnered with municipalities to develop a citizen-led whistleblowing platform to keep account of citizens and businesses’ compliance with lockdown regulations Monitoring & evaluation
- Tracking platform: IWatch and the ALAC partnered with the Ministry of Health to develop a tracking platform that enables easy identification of COVID-19 cases and monitor the number of people presenting symptoms who are staying at home Monitoring & evaluation
- Monitoring platform: IWatch and the ALAC also developed a monitor platform to track where donations and medical equipment went. This was to ensure transparency in the process and guarantee that hospitals with little equipment received the help they needed promptly. The (organisation) ALAC also collaborated with Tunisia’s medical association to get data on hospitals’ needs and donations. Monitoring & evaluation
- The ALAC helped local authorities to track and detect infraction made by citizens.
- Monitoring and tracking of donations
- Tracking of the National Covid-19 fund
- Providing medical needs to hospital all over the country