Morocco

NGO Draws Attention to ‘Serious’ Humanitarian Crisis in Tindouf Camps

Rabat - The humanitarian crisis in Tindouf camps, where Sahrawis currently lack food, water and medication, is serious, an NGO has said.

The humanitarian crisis in the Tindouf camps is serious, says an NGO, stressing Sahrawi residents' lack of access to basic goods.

Forum de Soutien aux Autonomistes de Tindouf (Forsatine) issued a statement on Tuesday saying the camps residents are suffering from shortages of food, medication and especially water.

“There is a growing anger in the camps at the Polisario leadership’s failure to deal with the crisis,” reads the statement.

The NGO says that reserves of staple goods such as sugar and rice have run out, adding that other goods are facing a similar situation

The United Nations World Food Programme's decision (WFP) to make a 20 percent cut of its provisions to the camps during the month of May ahead of more cuts in June will only make matters worse, warned the NGO.

If the Programme, which depends heavily on support from many countries ,does not receive contributions soon, it will have a hard time honoring its commitment for the second half of the year, added Forsatine. This mean means the humanitarian situation in the camps is going to further deteriorate.Medical supply is also running out. The NGO stated that the lack of medications and drugs for anemia and malnutrition will endanger the lives of 22,000 women and children suffering from these conditions.

“This serious food crisis is occurring as Ramadan is approaching and temperature is on the rise. This will affect the health of thousands of women, children and the elderly among these refugees,” adds the statement.The NGO accused the Polisario leadership of sending family members away from the camps to Spain and Mauritania while families of lower-ranked leaders went to the city of Tindouf to escape rising temperature and lack of water.

The UN has repeatedly drawn attention to the humanitarian situation in Tindouf camps.

In May 2016 the WFP said it “is facing a funding gap of US $14.8 million, representing 68 percent of the resources required this year to provide food assistance to refugees from Western Sahara who depend almost entirely on humanitarian assistance.”

Khat Achahid, which regroups dissidents from Polisario, has accused the latter’s leadership of self-enrichment at the expense of refugees, who still have to live on support from contributing countries.

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