Thursday, April 05, 2007

urgent appeal from the Saharawi Red Crescent

The Saharawi Red Crescent underlines the seriousness of the food situation of the Saharawi people

Chahid El Hafed, 31/03/2007 (SPS) The President of the Saharawi Red Crescent (CRS), Mr. Yahia Bouhebeini, stressed, in a letter to the High Commissioner for Refugees (HCR), the seriousness of the food situation of the Saharawi refugees, as well as the rupture, since September 2006, of the "Special programme" for the Saharawi children and women who suffer from malnutrition.

This special programme was elaborated, Mr. Bouhebeini indicates in a letter he addresses to the highest official of the HCR, Mr. Antonio Gutierrez, following recommendations included in the report of the specialised Italian Nutrition Institute (INRAN).

The President of the CRS recalled that the study undertook in March 2005 concluded that "76,5% of the pregnant women, 66,4% of breast-feeding women as well as 68,5% of the children who are under 5 years and victims to anaemia".

Mr. Bouhebeini indicated, on another hand, that the annual budget dedicated to 2007 "has diminished by 12% in comparison with the last year, by 31% in comparison to 2005 and by 50% in comparison to 2004".

The President of the CRS related the seriousness of the humanitarian situation to the "arbitrary and unilateral decision adopted by the regional director of the HCR (...), in the 22 of August 2005, when he decided to reduce to number of the beneficiaries from the Saharawi refugees from 158.000 persons to 90.000 "most vulnerable refugees!!".(SPS)

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