Algeria singled out by WFP over food aid sent to Tindouf camps

Algeria is once again caught on the (poor) management of international aid addressed, a priori, to the Tindouf camps on its territories. A new report of the World Food Program (WFP) describes a total “lack of direct control over the distribution of food aid”.

This observation supports the version of the Security Council and of several voices, in particular Algerian opponents, denouncing the diversion of aid to arm the Polisario.

The international food aid sent for the Sahrawis in the Tindouf camps does not reach them, affirm several dissident voices from the Algerian regime, who add that these products are resold to businesses in the town of Tindouf and surrounding towns and are bought by the Algerians.

The money received in return is used to finance the criminal and terrorist activities of the Polisario militia and to maintain the extravagant lifestyle of its members who own properties in Spain and in South American countries.

The WFP report confirms this observation by attesting to the opacity of the food aid circuit received by Algeria which, as the “host country”, manages it.

The teams that compiled this report point out, in addition to the lack of direct control over distribution, that the WFP has “of limited ability to ensure respect for humanitarian principles in the camps”.

The document explains that WFP “struggled to build strong relationships with the Algerian Red Crescent” and that it is the polisario which organizes the distribution of food aid in the camps in the name of the Algerian red crescent.

Algeria lets the Polisario militia manage the distribution when it is up to them to do so and to monitor the operation, he notes. This devolution of Algeria’s responsibilities was already condemned in 2018 by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

“One of the challenges of the assessment is that all participants in the interviews and focus group discussions are selected by the so-called ‘camp authorities’, indicates the report.

The report thus highlights the desire to prevent the WFP evaluation team from coming into contact with people likely to reveal other dysfunctions and misuse of aid. This explains the impossibility of an Algerian organization on the spot being able to account for the diversion of humanitarian aid.

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