This Operation has been modified as per Budget revision 4 (see below).
Algeria has been hosting Western Saharan refugees since 1975. After 11 years of support by the Algerian Government, WFP started providing basic food assistance tothe most vulnerable refugees in 1986. Opportunities for self-reliance in the harsh, isolated desert environment where the camps are located are extremely limited, forcing the refugees to rely on international humanitarian assistance for their survival. Despite the nomination of a new United Nations Special Envoy to the Western Sahara in 2009, UN-brokered negotiations have made no progress towards resolving the political impasse.
Meanwhile, malnutrition rates remain high, with global acute malnutrition at a critical level of 18.2 percent, chronic malnutrition at 31.4 percent and underweight at 31.6 percent, according to a WFP/Medicos del Mundo Spain nutrition survey of March 2008. Anaemia rates are also high, at 62 percent for children aged 6-59 months, 54 percent for non-pregnant women and 66 percent for pregnant women. A joint WFP/UNHCR nutrition mission in March 2009 identified various underlying sociocultural reasons for the continued malnutrition.
On 27 August 2009, the Government of Algeria requested a new WFP protracted relief and recovery operation which should address the underlying problems of malnutrition in the camps through strengthened interventions while covering the refugees’ minimum daily caloric requirements. A UNHCR/WFP joint assessment mission, fielded in September 2009, confirmed the need for continued food assistance.
In line with WFP Strategic Plan (2008-2013), the specific objectives of the operation are to: i) improve food consumption for the most vulnerable refugees living in the camps and reduce acute malnutrition and anaemia in children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women through general food distributions and nutrition activities (Strategic Objective 1 “Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies”); and ii) reduce short-term hunger and maintain the enrolment and retention of refugee girls and boys targeted through school feeding (Strategic Objective 3 “Restore and rebuild lives and livelihoods in post-disaster situations”).
The activities contribute to the following Millennium Development Goals: 1, “Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger”; 2, “Promote universal primary education”; 4, “Reduce child mortality”; and 5, “Improve maternal health”.
As a result of the conflict in Western Sahara in 1975, refugees moved from the region into Algeria. They settled in four camps located from 40 to 180 kilometres southwest of Tindouf, where they have been living ever since....