UNHCR calls on donor countries to increase humanitarian aids for Western Sahara refugees

Algiers - MAP - The Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Algiers, Mr. Abdelkrim Ghoul, called Sunday on the international community, especially the donor countries, to intensify the humanitarian aids to the Saharawi refugees.
In a speech to the Algerian Press Agency (APS) on the eve of the celebration of the World Refugee Day coincide with June 20 each year, Mr. Ghoul underlined that the total budget meant to the implementation of the 2011 aid programme for Saharawi refugees amounts to about US$11 million," adding that this budget is "insufficient" to meet all refugees’ needs.
He added that the UNHCR program aid for the benefit of the Saharawi refugees affects various vital sectors such as health, education, water, relying on aid from donor countries, stressing that the needs of the Saharawi refugees "require more than $ 26 million a year," notwithstanding that the food needs "require more than 30 million dollars," provided by the World Food Program (WFP).
The UN representative called on donor countries in the world to the intensification of humanitarian aid for the Sahrawi refugees in order to increase the annual budget for its aid.
Mr. Ghoul praised the "magnificent work" led by Algeria through the Algerian Red Crescent (ARC) and its humanitarian aid for the benefit of the Sahrawi refugees since 1975.
Referring to the nature of humanitarian aid granted by the international community in favor of the Saharawi refugees, he said that "this aid consists primarily of staple foods and has been for over 25 years, stressing that such support is usually intended to emergencies, recalling to the visit of the UN high commissioner for refugees to the camps of the Saharawi refugees on September 2009. He also called for reviewing the type of humanitarian aid, through developing a program that "enhances the resources and structures available in these camps."
For two years, a new strategy based on capacity building was developed and training programs in human resources were organized especially in the areas of education and health in the Saharawi refugee camps.
The program also provides capacity building to disseminate the culture of human rights and the organization of training sessions for the benefit of lawyers and judges in the Sahrawi refugee camps.
“Under cover of humanitarian aid donor, my office provides additional food aid to Sahrawi refugees,” said Ghoul, referring to the program of exchange visits between Saharawi families, noting that two flights are scheduled every week between the Saharawi refugee camps and cities of Western Sahara.
He pointed out that these visits “allows family members to meet after an absence of more than 30 years for some," adding that more than 10,000 people are on waiting lists to receive these visits," and confirming that these visits will be expanded in the future by land to allow a greater number of Sahrawi benefit.
The UN official finally announced the forthcoming opening of an office of UNICEF in the Saharawi refugee camps to enhance benefits for Sahrawi children.
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