WFP needs $7.9 million to maintain assistance to Sahrawi refugees

New York, June 4, 2017 (SPS) - The World Food Program (WFP) needs $7.9 million over the next six months to continue providing food aid to the Sahrawi refugees in Algeria, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday.

The UN chief called on donors to "urgently increase their assistance for this often neglected and vulnerable population," the UN chief added.

The lack of funding has forced WFP to reduce food rations by nearly one-fifth this year and stop the distribution of nutritional supplements to treat anemia and malnutrition among pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children, said the spokesman of the UN SG in a statement to the press.

"Food rations will be further reduced by half in June, which could have a significant impact on food security and the nutritional status of refugees," added the UN SG.

"Humanitarian aid, including food aid, is a lifesaver for these refugees from Western Sahara," said the UN SG, noting that a recent assessment stressed "the precarious situation in terms of nutrition in the Sahrawi refugee camps." (SPS)