Gran Canaria contributes €1 million Humanitarian Assistance for Sahrawi Refugees in Algeria

The Cabildo (governing council) of Gran Canaria in Spain has made contribution of €1 million (US$1.1 million) to support food assistance for Sahrawi refugees in Algeria. This is the second consecutive annual donation that WFP has received from the Cabildo for Sahrawi refugees.

WFP Representative and Country Director in Algeria, Romain Sirois said, “This contribution will make a real difference to the assistance we’re providing to the refugees. WFP relies on voluntary funds for its programmes and contributions from non-traditional donors such as Gran Canaria are especially welcome.”

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The funds will allow WFP to provide gofio, a roasted corn flour, to thousands of refugee families living in the desert in Tindouf, a remote and arid region in the south-west of Algeria. The gofio will complement the other foodstuffs provided each month to the refugees.

WFP also plans to include gofio in its school feeding programme which benefits more than 40,000 Sahrawi children attending education facilities in the camps. The children will receive a mid-morning snacks that includes a mixture of gofio, sugar and vegetable oil.

School feeding has been shown to be effective in encouraging children to attend school and to stay in education.

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WFP has been the main source of food for most Sahrawi refugees in Algeria since 1986. Besides Gran Canaria, additional support from Spain for the refugees includes contributions from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID) and the regions of Asturias, Baleares, Canarias, Cantabria, Castilla-León, Comunidad Valenciana, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid and Murcia.

The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future.

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