The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a €1 million contribution from the Government of Italy that will help provide daily school meals for children attending schools and nurseries in Tindouf refugee camps.
The funds will also help WFP to provide special nutritious foods to treat and prevent moderately acute malnutrition among children under five, and pregnant and nursing women.
“This contribution has come at the right time as it will cover the urgent needs of refugees in the first months of the year,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Algeria Imed Khanfir. “WFP is grateful to the people and Government of Italy for their continued support and for doubling the amount of the contribution compared to last year. This most welcome donation enables us to have uninterrupted support in refugee camps.”
School feeding is key to ensuring that children in refuge, displacement or other vulnerable contexts receive an education. A daily school meal is in incentive for both parents and children to enroll in schools and attend classes regularly. WFP will use funds from Italy to provide each child with a nutritious mid-morning snack that includes porridge made from Gofio, dried skimmed milk, vitamin-enriched oil and sugar, as well as a pack of high-energy biscuits to stave off the hunger that affects children’s ability to concentrate during a long school day.
“The Italian Government follows with great attention the humanitarian situation in the Sahrawi camps,” said the Italian ambassador to Algeria Giovanni Pugliese. “Over the last years, we have assured continuous support to the World Food Programme, as we are convinced that access to nutritious food and food security should be guaranteed to everyone. That is why we have decided to double our contribution to WFP, scaling it up to €1 million.”
Italy has been an important partner to WFP Algeria, providing since 2002 a total of almost US$12.5 million.
For more than 40 years, Sahrawi refugees have been living under extremely harsh conditions in the Sahara Desert in southwest Algeria. Accommodated in five refugee camps near the Algerian town of Tindouf, refugee families rely primarily on WFP assistance for their food needs as employment and livelihood opportunities are limited.
WFP has been supporting refugees from Western Sahara in Algeria since 1986. WFP operations in Algeria are carried out and monitored in collaboration with national and international organizations to ensure food assistance reaches the people for whom it is intended.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).