Algeria, November 22, 2023 (SPS) - The humanitarian response plan to address the needs of Sahrawi Refugees organized by United Nations agencies and humanitarian actors in Algeria launched yesterday at the Sheraton Hotel in Algiers.
The event was attended by a member of the National Secretariat, the Sahrawi Ambassador to Algeria, Mr. Abdelkader Taleb Omar, President of the Sahrawi Red Crescent, Mr. Bouhabeini Yahia, Director General of Multilateral Relations at the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed Sofiane Berrah, the United Nations Resident Ambassador in Algeria, Alejandro Alvarez, Representative of the High Commissioner for Refugees Alistair Bolton, Representative of the World Food Programme Organization Elaine Raymond, in addition to the President of the Algerian Red Crescent, Mrs. Ibtissam Hamalaoui, and the diplomatic corps accredited in Algeria.
The size of the needs for the Sahrawi refugees for 2024-2025 has been estimated at $220 million, and this need represents a unified and comprehensive vision for all the needs of the Sahrawi refugees by all partners in the humanitarian field from United Nations agencies and international and non-governmental organizations, which determine this support based on the general number of Sahrawi refugees.
The meeting issued the following humanitarian appeal statement on the situation and needs of Sahrawi refugees:
UNITED NATIONS AGENCIES AND HUMANITARIAN ACTORS UNVEIL A PLAN TO ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF SAHRAWI REFUGEES
In Algiers oct 21, 2023
In the refugee camps of Tindouf, the Sahrawi population grapples with increasingly challenging living conditions, exacerbated by the pressures of climate change and the soaring prices of essential food commodities. This enduring situation, persisting since 1975, presents enormous difficulties for humanitarian actors striving to maintain assistance at the requisite level to address the needs of the Sahrawi refugees. This challenge assumes even greater significance within the context of a global landscape marked by diminishing humanitarian aid amidst a multitude of crises.
Despite diligent efforts, humanitarian endeavors aimed at aiding Sahrawi refugees remain consistently underfunded. Consequently, 90% of the Sahrawi population residing in the Tindouf camps are either food insecure or vulnerable to food insecurity , leading to severe nutritional deterioration, especially among the most vulnerable, notably children, with one in ten children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. These camps are home to refugees, whose sustenance largely relies on international humanitarian aid, constituting three-quarters of their food supply. In this backdrop, the call for international solidarity is imperative to protect these refugees and mitigate the devastating repercussions of fluctuations in humanitarian assistance.
United Nations agencies (UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF and WHO) have exerted substantial efforts in designing a plan to enhance the efficacy of humanitarian actions to satisfy the needs of the Sahrawi population in the Tindouf camps, ensuring that no one is left behind. Through a robust and sustainable alliance encompassing all twenty-eight humanitarian actors on the ground, the Sahrawi Refugee Response Plan (SRRP) document delineates the entirety of needs for the 173,600 Sahrawis residing in the camps for the 2024-2025 period, estimating the funding at $220 million USD.
These resources are intended to secure food stability and address nutritional requirements within the camps, enhance educational access, ensure a reliable water supply, offer protection services (including civil status and specific needs), and promote hygienic sanitary conditions, to improve and promote health. Additionally, measures to diversify livelihood activities are in place to mitigate the adverse effects of humanitarian aid volatility and alleviate the impact of price fluctuations in the global food markets.
This 2024-2025 response plan exemplifies an unwavering commitment to ensuring an effective and well-coordinated humanitarian response to meet the growing needs of Sahrawi refugees. The overarching objective is to ensure that every dollar invested in this endeavor directly benefits the individuals in greatest need.
It is noteworthy to acknowledge that, for nearly half a century, the Algerian government and international donors have demonstrated steadfast solidarity with the Saharawi refugees, extending critical humanitarian support deserving of wholehearted acclaim and recognition”.