Sahrawi refugees: UN coordinator in Algeria calls for more aid

Algiers, Oct 25, 2017 (SPS) - United Nations Resident Coordinator in Algeria Eric Overvest on Tuesday has called on the international community to increase its aid for Sahrawi refugees.

"I call on the international community to increase its aid to help meet Sahrawi refugees' basic needs," said Overvest at a ceremony marking the United Nations Day at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"We also support Algeria in its multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance to Sahrawi refugees, for whom financial resources have been drastically cut over the past years, affecting the living conditions of the vulnerable population in refugee camps, especially pregnant women, children and the elderly," he added.

In June 2017, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on donors to "urgently increase their assistance to this often overlooked and vulnerable population."

"WFP (World Food Programme) requires US$7.9 million to continue providing vital food assistance for Sahrawi refugees," said Guterres.

The lack of funding has forced the WFP to cut food rations by almost one-fifth this year, and to halt distributions of nutritional supplements to treat anaemia and malnutrition in pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children. SPS