ALGIERS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) received a contribution of dates from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia worth US$1.5 million to support refugees residing in camps in Algeria.
For several years, Saudi Arabia has donated dates – which enhance the nutritional value of WFP food assistance – for distribution in refugee camps in Algeria. The most recent contribution of more than 700 metric tons is three times larger than contributions made in previous years, and comes at a critical time when monthly food assistance has been reduced.
The contribution was formalized during a handover ceremony at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Algiers with participation of the representative of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) Abdullah Ibrahim Al Saif 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 and help to cover a part of food and nutritional requirements of thousands of refugees, added to their diets.
WFP will also distribute Saudi dates to schoolchildren, as part of its school meals programme, and further provide them to pregnant women, nursing mothers and children under the age of five, to treat and prevent malnutrition and anaemia.
“We are proud to partner with WFP in over 20 countries around the world, and especially delighted to be able to support their program in Algeria by sharing our renowned Saudi Arabian Dates with our brothers and sisters there. May we continue this tradition in the years to come,” said KSRelief Director of Emergency Relief Management Fahad Al-Osaimi.
Saudi Arabia is an important donor to WFP in Algeria, contributing US$5 million over the past nine years. Since 2008, Saudi Arabia has contributed more than US$1.3 billion to WFP operations around the world.
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