'Migration as a Resource: Mobilizing the Tunisian Diaspora and Stabilizing Disadvantaged Communities in Tunisia', is the name of the 2.9-million-euro project launched by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Italian embassy in Tunis and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). Funded by AICS and implemented by IOM, it aims to raise awareness among Tunisians living abroad about development and financing needs. It wants to get them involved as funders and investors in micro-projects proposed by entrepreneurs in disadvantaged zones as well as to promote local products outside of Tunisia.
Resources and labor in Italy and Tunisia
The project presents an alternative to traditional sources of funding and facilitates business opportunities on the Italian market. The goal is to create 70 micro-businesses and 210 jobs in the Jendouba, Kef, Medenine and Tataouine regions. ''We hope that Italy will support and foster legal, dignified immigration for our youth,'' Tunisian Secretary of State for Migration and Tunisians Abroad, Adel Jarboui, said.
The Italian ambassador to Tunisia, Raimondo De Cardona, and IOM mission chief in Tunisia Lorena Lando stressed that the "Migration as a resource" is an important chance for the exchange of information and expertise as well as an opportunity to achieve shared objectives for all the partners involved.
It is further seen as a way to complement previous efforts by the AICS through several development projects and is based on a network of government partners in Tunisia.
Migration as driving force behind development
Lando said that migration is a ''driving force'' and that the about 200,000 Tunisians in Italy can now ''contribute to help to get the Tunisian economy back on its feet''. The initiative aims to help socio-economic issues in the most disadvantaged areas of the country and will be helped by the Italian Development Cooperation through ''actions to foster jobs, rural development and education'' De Cardona noted.