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What are the current issues in Algeria

Since 1986, WFP has been providing assistance to refugees from the Western Sahara living in Algeria, ensuring that their basic food and nutritional needs are met. They are located in five camps near the town of Tindouf, some 2,000 km southwest of Algiers.

Since 1986, WFP has been providing assistance to refugees from the Western Sahara living in Algeria, ensuring that their basic food and nutritional needs are met. They are located in five camps near the town of Tindouf, some 2,000 km southwest of Algiers.

Due to the harsh and hostile desert environment and isolation, there are few opportunities for self-reliance activities. The desert supports limited livestock and minimal vegetable cultivation. Affected refugees therefore rely almost completely on humanitarian aid from the international community.

Refugees from the Western Sahara are notably organized. Along with governing structures, civil society groups are mandated to administer various functions, including food distributions at the local level. Women are actively involved in the organization of the camps and have an essential decision-making role in various aspects of the society.

In the absence of a political solution and within a protracted refugee context, WFP will continue to provide basic food assistance to the most vulnerable refugees from the Western Sahara.

What the World Food Programme is doing in Algeria

The ongoing Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO 200301) in Algeria runs from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2015 with a total budget of US$66 million.

WFP carries out three activities under this operation: (1) General Food Distributions (GFD), (2) Mother and Child Health through the nutrition activities and a (3) School Feeding Programme. The three activities are implemented in close collaboration with UNHCR, Algerian Red Crescent, Saharawi Red Crescent, Spanish Red Crescent, and CISP.The partnership portfolio is being widened to include other NGOs working in the camps.

Given the extreme weather conditions and the potential environmental threats which damage the outdoor storage and food stocks, WFP also works on the improvement of basic infrastructure of the Sahrawi storage facilities.

General Food Distributions: The role of WFP’s food assistance is to meet the basic food and nutritional needs of the most vulnerable refugees and support their livelihoods.The dry food basket provided by WFP is composed of cereals (wheat flour, rice and barley), pulses (lentils, beans and chick peas), sugar, vegetable oil and blended food. Other commodities such as gofio (roasted maize blend) and canned fish are also distributed when received as in-kind contributions. Bilateral funding complements WFP’s dry food ration with fresh foods.

Mother and Child Health: To address undernutrition –anaemia, stunting and malnutrition- among children under 5 years of age and pregnant and lactating women, WFP combines prevention and treatment approaches. To treat moderate acute malnutrition, WFP provides oil, sugar and fortified blended foods to 1,000 pregnant and lactating women while 1,800 malnourished children, aged 6-59 months, receive a special spread fortified with vitamins and minerals (Plumpy Sup®). For the prevention intervention WFP provides for 13,300 children aged 6-59 months with a special spread (Nutributter™) while 6,360 pregnant and lactating women receive Micro Nutrient Powders.

School-feeding Programme: With the objective of maintaining enrolment and attendance of refugee children in primary school, WFP provides mid-morning snacks to 32,500 primary school students in the form of milk or dates, when received asin-kind contributions, and fortified biscuits. Mid-morning snacks are provided to reduce short-term hunger among the students, enhancing their learning abilities and developing their potential.

The operation at a glance:
• WFP provides 90,000 general food rations plus 35,000 supplementary general food rations to the most vulnerable refugees from the Western Sahara.
• The nutritional value of a WFP general food ration is equivalent to 2,166 kilocalories per person per day.

Featured Algeria publications

  • Algeria: WFP Country Brief (PDF, 390 KB)

    A Country Brief provides the latest snapshot of the country strategy, operations, operational highlights (achievements and issues/challenges), partnerships and country background.

Looking for more publications on Algeria? Visit the Algeria publications archive.