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WFP Algeria Country Brief, May 2018

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Operational Context

Algeria has been hosting refugees from Western Sahara since 1975. These refugees are in camps in the harsh, isolated desert environment.

Algeria has been hosting refugees from Western Sahara since 1975. These refugees are in camps in the harsh, isolated desert environment of western Algeria, where opportunities for self-reliance are limited, forcing them to depend on humanitarian assistance for their survival.

Despite continued negotiations, there is little sign of a durable solution to the political stalemate and encampment remains the only feasible option for the refugees from Western Sahara for the foreseeable future. The political status quo is fueling anxiety and disillusionment, especially among the young population, which could lead to increased insecurity and tensions in the sub-region.

The 2016 UNHCR-WFP Joint Assessment Mission report confirmed that most refugees from Western Sahara are still highly reliant on humanitarian assistance. The results of the 2016 Nutrition Survey indicate an improvement in the overall nutrition situation of women and children, both global acute malnutrition and chronic malnutrition among children of 06-59 months reduced. However, anaemia rates are at 39 percent among children 6-59 months and 45 percent among women of reproductive age respectively.

WFP currently represents the major regular and reliable source of food for the Sahrawi refugees in Algeria. Upon the request of Algerian Government, WFP has been present in the camps since 1986.

Operational Updates
- Although the T-ICSP’s funding level appears satisfactory, this does not provide a realistic portrayal of the funding situation. Requirements for WFP’s General Food Assistance have not been fully covered since January 2018, in part due to donor restrictions attached to respective contributions. As a result, WFP Algeria anticipates a second round of ration cuts in June. Communications have already been sent to the Host Government, WFP, Donors and Partners on the foreseeable pipeline breaks through to the end of 2018 and into 2019.
- WFP Algeria thanks the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its generous in-kind contribution of more than 700 mt of Dates. In addition to WFP’s monthly ration, refugees will receive 2 kg of dates in June 2018, as a special ration for Ramadan. The dates are highly appreciated during this religious holiday. Further distributions will be giving beyond June.
- WFP welcomes a first-time contribution of EUR 15,000 from the Government of Andorra for its innovative hydroponic project.
- In May, WFP provided a complete food basket, distributing 125,000 rations consisting of: 8 kg wheat flour, 2 kg barley, 2 kg rice, 2 kg of yellow split peas, 1 kg of CSB, 1 kg sugar and 1 litre of fortified vegetable oil. The rations’ overall energy intake was consistent to the planned requirements of 2,100 kcal per person per day.
- To treat Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), WFP distributed daily rations of pre-mix 100 g Corn Soya Blend (CSB+) with sugar and 10 g vegetable oil to treat 549 moderately malnourished pregnant women and nursing mothers.
- WFP also provided a daily distribution of 100 g of Plumpy’sup, a specialized nutrition product, to treat malnutrition in 350 children.
- A special spread (Nutributter) to prevent chronic malnutrition in 12,659 children under five was also distributed (20 g every two days).
- The provision of Micronutrient powders (MNPs) to prevent micronutrient deficiencies in pregnant and nursing women (PNW) is pending results of the ongoing decentralized evaluation of the nutrition activity.