Monday, January 15, 2007

Avoid famine in the Saharawi refugees camps

WESTERN SAHARA/REFUGEES/FAMINE
Urgent appeal for an immediate aid to the Saharawi refugees

Chahid El Hafed, 09/01/2007 (SPS) The Saharawi Red Crescent (CRS) launched on Tuesday and "urgent" appeal, the third of its kind in three months, to the international community, to the donating countries, international organisations and civil societies, "for an immediate aid to the Saharawi refugees so as to avoid a famine that became imminent".

This appeal intervenes after the end of the stock of security last October 2006, while the "little assistance that arrived up to this date is not sufficient for the minimum needs of thousands innocent Saharawi women and children", who depend completely on the international assistance, stressed a communiqué of the CRS publicised the same day, of which SPS received a copy.

"During January 2007 the Saharawi refugees did not receive the minimum food to ensure them the basic needs, especially from vegetables, oil, sugar, floor and milk, unless new aid comes as soon as possible", the same source added.

The persistence of this tragedy starts to have a negative consequences on the health of thousands refugees, among whom the percentage of anaemia increased especially among children, pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers, the text regretted.

The number of cases malnutrition also increased amongst children and the famine is "imminent" if there is not a quick intervention to resolve the shortage, the CRS declared.

The Saharawi Red Crescent hailed the Algerian Government, and Governments of other donating countries such as the USA, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Finland, as well as some Spanish autonomous regions and Italy who lately brought assistance to the Saharawi and who helped in avoiding the worst.

The CRS especially called on the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to assume his "responsibilities in the danger of death that threatens thousands of innocent Saharawi women, children and elderly". (SPS)



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