Spain and WFP continue to join forces to support the food needs of vulnerable Sahrawi refugees in Algeria

By World Food Programme

Spain and WFP continue to join forces to support the food needs of vulnerable Sahrawi refugees in Algeria

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a contribution of €2.4 million (US$2.7 million) from Spain to provide critical humanitarian assistance to Sahrawi refugees in Algeria.

The Spanish funds will help WFP provide monthly food rations for Sahrawi refugees that include cereals, pulses, vegetable oil, and sugar. WFP will use a portion of the funds; €0.5 million (US$0.6 million), to prevent malnutrition and anemia among 8,600 pregnant and nursing Saharawi women by providing them with monthly food vouchers they can use to buy nutritious foods of their choice at retail shops in the camps.

“We are grateful to the people and Government of Spain for their continued support to Sahrawi refugees at a time when challenges are at their greatest, such as the increase in food commodity prices,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Algeria, Imed Khanfir. “The monthly food assistance is the main source of food for refugee women, children, and men who depend on WFP to cover their food needs.”

The Sahrawi refugees have been living since 1975 under harsh conditions in the Sahara Desert in southwest Algeria. Accommodated in five refugee camps near the Algerian town of Tindouf, refugee families rely primarily on WFP assistance for their food needs. Employment and livelihood opportunities are very limited.

“WFP is one of our main partners in the Sahrawi refugee camps and a solid partnership between us is guaranteed,” said the Ambassador of Spain in Algeria, Fernando Morán. “Despite the enormous challenges of this operation and even in the worst times of the pandemic of Covid-19, the WFP has not stopped providing food aid to the Sahrawi families.”

WFP has been supporting refugees from Western Sahara in Algeria since 1986. WFP operations in Algeria are carried out and monitored in collaboration with national and international organizations to ensure food assistance reaches the people for whom it is intended.