Sahrawi children living in refugee camps in southwest Algeria’s will benefit from a recent $452,000 contribution by the French government. The money will be used to support a school feeding program that provides for more than 40,000 children, run by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). The goal of the program is to encourage refugee children to stay in school by guaranteeing a mid-morning snack.
Refugees have been living in this collection of camps located in Algeria’s Tindouf province since 1975, having fled conflict between Morocco and the Polisario Front during the Western Sahara War. It is one of the longest-standing refugee crises in the world.
Given the harsh conditions of the Sahara Desert, refugees here have come to rely almost entirely on the WFP and the UN refugee agency UNHCR for food. As of December 31, 2018, the UNHCR estimated that 90,000 Sahrawi refugees lived in the five camps in Tindouf.