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Switzerland boosts World Food Programme with US$1,96 million aid for Sahrawi refugees in Algeria

Staff Reporter

ALGIERS – The United Nations World Food Programme has welcomed a US$1,96 million contribution from Switzerland, to help fund the humanitarian organisation’s school feeding programme in refugee camps in Algeria. The amount is also expected to cover the basic food needs of tens of thousands of refugee families.

“WFP is grateful to the people and the Government of Switzerland for being long-term supporters of the school feeding programme in the Sahrawi refugee camps,” said Romain Sirois, WFP Representative in Algeria.

“Swiss contributions over recent years have been key in ensuring the continuity of this programme. And we’re delighted we can use the funds to support other important activities as well.”

Since 1975, Sahrawi refugees have been living under harsh conditions in the Sahara Desert of southwestern Algeria. Thousands of refugees live in five refugee camps near the Algerian town of Tindouf and the WFP is their main source of food, distributing monthly food rations that include cereals, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and fortified blended foods.

The UN organization also provides special nutritional products that prevent and treat malnutrition among pregnant and nursing mothers, and children under five years.

Tens of thousands of children are enrolled in schools, kindergartens and special needs centres in all five camps, where education is overseen by the refugee authorities and all institutions benefit from WFP school feeding.

The international humanitarian organisation has supported the refugees from Western Sahara in Algeria since 1986, in an initiative carried out monitored in collaboration with national and international organisations to ensure the food reaches the people for whom it is intended.

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