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.