Siliana is located in northern Tunisia, just 130 km south of the capital Tunis. The region is home to over 200,000 people.
The economy is based mostly on agriculture. However, unemployment is extremely high and poverty is widespread. On the whole, poverty levels are higher in the interior of the country, as compared to the more wealthy coastal regions, but in Siliana residents have historically felt marginalized.
Since 1983, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Siliana.
Poverty especially affects the more rural areas of Tunisia.
Living in poverty means that many people live on less than $1,90 a day and struggle to fulfil the most basic needs like health, education, and access to water and sanitation. Multidimensional poverty measures poverty not just based on income, but also as to what other goods and services people are deprived from, such as housing, education, or clean water.
The inland region is five times poorer than the capital and its surrounding areas.
Even though more and more houses are connected to a network that provides them with safe drinking water, there is still room for improvement.
Furthermore, the difficult access to safe water in rural areas is also closely linked to gender inequality. If a household does not have access to a water system, the water must be fetched from somewhere else. This task is mostly carried out by women. It is hard and time-consuming work which hinders their ability to engage in other productive activities. During these trips to water sources, many women are also subjected to harassment and sexual assaults.