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Dates from Saudi Arabia enhance nutritional value of food for Sahrawi refugees in camps in Algeria

ALGIERS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has received a contribution of 350 metric tons of dates from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia worth US$725,000 which will help support Sahrawi refugees living in camps in Algeria.

Distribution started during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when thousands of Sahrawi refugees received two kilos of dates per refugee. Dates are a traditional food for the breaking of the fast and, over recent years, have been donated by Saudi Arabia for distribution in the refugee camps in Algeria.

The contribution was formalized during a handover ceremony at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Algiers. It was attended by the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Algiers Abdelaziz Ben Ibrahim Hamad El-Omairini, the Head of Mission of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) Mansour Al-Eid, and WFP Country Director and Representative in Algeria Romain Sirois.

“WFP is thankful to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud as well as the Saudi Arabian people for their generous contribution,” said Sirois. “Dates are very nutritious, help diversify diet and cover the food and nutritional requirements of thousands of Sahrawi refugees in Algeria. They are especially appreciated during the holy month of Ramadan.”

"KSrelief distributes thousands of tons of dates each year to countries around the world, as part of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s “Gift of Dates” program.", stated Dr. Abdallah Al-Rabeeah, Advisor to the Royal Court, and Supervisor General of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center. "The partnership between KSrelief and WFP is crucial in the field of humanitarian action to fight hunger and provide emergency food assistance that will improve the nutritional status of beneficiaries."

Saudi Arabia is an important donor to WFP in Algeria, contributing US$5.7 million since 2010. Since 2008, Saudi Arabia has contributed more than US$1.5 billion to WFP operations around the world.


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