Grant :: WFP welcomes ?1 million donation from EU to aid western Saharan refugees

WFP has welcomed a ?1 million contribution from the Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission (ECHO) to provide food aid to the vulnerable Western Saharan refugees in Algeria.

?The European Commission has been consistently responsive to the needs of the refugees and has supported WFP enormously in the work it does to assist them,? said Marius de Gaay Fortman, WFP Country Director in Algeria.

The Western Saharan refugees arrived in Algeria in 1975 after fleeing a territorial conflict.

Harsh conditions

They settled in four temporary camps near the remote desert town of Tindouf, where they endure harsh climatic conditions, isolation and a lack of economic opportunities.

The refugees continue to rely almost entirely on assistance from the international community. WFP has been assisting the most vulnerable since 1986.

Despite the latest contribution, WFP remains concerned about a shortfall in funding which is causing serious breaks in food distributions.

The agency is appealing for an additional US$3 million to purchase more than 4,000 metric tons of food over the next six months.

?It can take months after a donation is made to buy and transport food to the camps. More regular donations would enable us to provide crucial humanitarian assistance without breaks in the pipeline,? added de Gaay Fortman.

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