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Gran Canaria renews support to Sahrawi refugee

ALGIERS/MADRID – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a contribution of €1 million (US$1.1 million) from the Cabildo (governing council) of Gran Canaria in Spain to support food assistance for Sahrawi refugees in camps in Tindouf, Algeria.

This is the third consecutive annual donation that WFP has received from the Cabildo for Sahrawi refugees.

The funds will allow WFP to add gofio, a roasted corn flour, to its monthly food assistance for thousands of Sahrawi refugee families. Gofio is a traditional Canarian staple food that is very popular among the Sahrawi refugees. It is rich in fibre and vitamins; its high nutritional value is important for a refugee population that grapples with malnutrition and high anaemia prevalence.

“The gofio makes a real difference; it diversifies the refugees’ diets and provides additional nutrients. It is greatly appreciated by the refugee community,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Algeria Imed Khanfir. “WFP thanks the Cabildo and its people for this generous contribution, which comes at a critical moment when the refugees face the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

WFP has been the main source of food for most Sahrawi refugees in Algeria since 1986. WFP distributes monthly food rations that include cereals, pulses, vegetable oil, sugar and fortified blended foods to thousands of refugee men, women and children to cover their basic food needs.

"Gran Canaria maintains its commitment to alleviate the serious food deficiencies in the Saharawi refugee camps," explained the Counsellor for International Solidarity, Carmelo Ramírez. "The health emergency that has caused the closure of borders and, therefore, hinders the arrival of food, makes this contribution more necessary than ever, facilitating the purchase of around 1,100 metric tons of gofio.”

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.


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For more information please contact (email address:

Katharina Meyerseipp, WFP/Algiers,
Mob. +213 661984724

Lucía Fernández, WFP/Madrid,
Mob. +34 672 068 169

Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo,
Tel. +2010 66634352

Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo,
Tel. +201066634522