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Spain and 11 of its regions step up support to Sahrawi refugees facing COVID-19 in Algeria

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ALGIERS/MADRID – The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and 11 Spanish regions have increased their contributions this year to EUR 1.9 million to provide critical humanitarian assistance to Sahrawi refugees in Algeria during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Spanish funds will help WFP provide much-needed food assistance to Sahrawi refugees by distributing monthly food rations that include cereals, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and fortified blended foods. AECID increased its annual contribution by EUR 100,000 to respond to the increased needs during the Covid-19 crisis.

Thousands of refugee families are suffering from the economic impact of the health crisis and related losses in income. To ensure that all families have had enough food, WFP expanded its caseload to 20,000 refugees during the May-July period.

The Sahrawi refugees live under harsh conditions in five refugee camps in the Sahara Desert of southwestern Algeria and rely primarily on WFP assistance for their food needs.

“Spain has stepped forward to ensure that this health crisis does not turn into a hunger crisis in the Tindouf refugee camps,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Algeria Imed Khanfir. “WFP is very grateful to the people and Government of Spain for their support which allows thousands of refugee men, women and children to receive a diverse food ration. This covers their basic needs and helps them overcome this challenging period.”

WFP has been the main source of food for most Sahrawi refugees 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.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):

Katharina Meyerseipp, WFP/Algiers,
Mob. +213 661984724

Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo,
Tel. +2010 66634352