The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia Maintains Support To WFP Humanitarian Operation In Refugee Camps Near Tindouf

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has provided this annual contribution of dates for several years to WFP's food assistance programme in Sahrawirefugee camps near Tindouf. The Algerian Red Crescent (CRA), WFP's implementing partner, recently transported the shipment of 252 metric tons of dates to warehouses in Rabouni for storage, in preparation for distribution during the Muslim holy month Ramadan.

"This shipment of dates is in support of our brethren in the refugee camps living in Algeria. It is a continuation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to those who need it most, regardless where they are," said the Director of Emergency Aid for the King Salman Humanitarian Aid & Relief Center, Fahad Al-Osaimy.

The dates were handed over to WFP during a symbolic ceremony at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Algiers, in the presence of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Algeria, Sami A. Alsaleh, and WFP Representative in Algeria, Romain Sirois.

"Saudi dates are an important and consistent complement to the diet of the refugees. This timely shipment has arrived a few weeks before Ramadan when dates are a staple for breaking the fast," said Sirois. "WFP extends its gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, His Majesty King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, for his generous contribution to WFP operations in various regions of the world."

The consignment of dates will help diversify the food basket for the camp population at a time when funding is insufficient to cover all the needs. Part of this contribution will be provided to pregnant and nursing women to give them additional energy and to prevent malnutrition.

WFP is facing a funding gap of US$14.8 million, representing 68 percent of the resources required this year to provide food assistance to refugees from Western Sahara who depend almost entirely on humanitarian assistance.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an important partner of WFP in Algeria and globally, contributing more than US$1 billion over the past decade. Since 2011, the total allocation of Saudi dates to WFP for Western Sahara refugees has exceeded US$3 million in value.

WFP has been supporting Sahrawi refugees in Algeria since 1986. The current operation includes general food distributions, activities to prevent and treat undernutrition, as well as a school-feeding programme, designed to maintain the enrolment and attendance of refugee children in school. All WFP support in Algeria is carried out and monitored in collaboration with national and international organizations to ensure the assistance reaches the people for whom it is intended.

Source: World Food Programme