WFP denies Algerian tax on humanitarian aid for Sahrawi refugees

Rome, 15 August 2020 (SPS) - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said that food aid for Sahrawi refugees is not subject to any taxation by Algeria, denying the false allegations peddled by the Moroccan embassy in Rome, the Algerian News Agency APS reported. 

The aid delivered to the Sahrawi refugee camps "is not subject to any taxation by the Algerian government and is exempt from value added tax (VAT) in Algeria, as in all other countries where we operate," said the WFP in its response to a note verbale from the said embassy which falsely accused Algeria "to levy a 5% tax on this aid."

The Rome-based UN agency also notes that "the Algerian government's support for the Tindouf camps includes facilitating customs clearance and port operations and the transport of humanitarian supplies to the camps."

As a reminder, the Algerian Ambassador to Brussels, Amar Belani, had formally denied these false allegations, stating that Algerian tax legislation exempts from customs duties and VAT all humanitarian and charitable associations operating in Algeria, in relation to the Algerian Red Crescent.

In its response, WFP "reaffirms the commitment made at the annual session of the Executive Board in June 2019 and the note verbale of 14 May 2020 that humanitarian assistance in the Tindouf camps in Algeria will continue to be provided to people vulnerable to food insecurity, in accordance with the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality." (SPS)