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ALGERIA
SAHRAWI REFUGEES

Since 1975, Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony, has been claimed by both Morocco and the Polisario Front. Between 1975 and 1976, to escape the conflict, a large part of the population has fled to southwest Algeria. Since the 1991 ceasefire, the UN has tried unsuccessfully to hold a self-determination referendum, but Western Sahara remains a "territory without administration". On the 13th November 2020, a group of Sahrawi protested at Guerguerat border post, in the extreme South of Western Sahara, asking for the organisation of the referendum. It triggered a Moroccan army forces military intervention. Considering the intervention as a violation of the 1991 ceasefire, The Polisario Front waged the “state of war”.

For more than 40 years, Sahrawi refugees - estimated by UNHCR at 173,600 people - have been living in isolated camps in Tinduf region, located in the Sahara desert, subjected to extreme climatic conditions, without natural resources and entirely dependent on humanitarian aid. The lockdown confinement decreed from mid-March to June 2020 in the camps in response to the Covid-19 pandemic led to the loss of many jobs and other sources of income for the refugees (UNHCR, Sahrawi refugees in COVID-19 lockdown hit by livestock epidemic, 1 September 2020).

TGH has been supporting Saharawi population since 2001 both with emergency interventions to improve immediate living conditions and sustainable solutions in order to empower the population and increase its resilience capacities. As long as no political solution is found to determine the Western Sahara’s administrative status, the Sahrawi refugees will remain dependent of the humanitarian assistance with no prospect of change in this context of political status quo. The current health situation exacerbated the living conditions and needs of the population. TGH operates in the following sectors:

Logistics:
The camps are supplied from Algiers: a 2,000 km journey on roads that severely challenge the vehicles. Since 2002, TGH has been in charge of the Rabouni central mechanical workshop, which ensures the maintenance of about sixty trucks, seventeen ambulances and many other vehicles and generators that ensures the transportation of food and sanitary equipment.

Health:
TGH supports the local health system by providing technical and material assistance to hospitals and auxiliary services (laboratories, radiology services and dental surgery), and by conducting regular HIV awareness and prevention campaigns.

Hygiene:
The difficult access to hygiene items in camps increases the risk of diseases transmission.
To reduce this sanitary risks, TGH ensures the functioning of 2 soap production workshops and one bleach unit production which are distributed to health institutions, schools, hospitals and individuals.

Disability:
People with disabilities are particularly vulnerable in refugee camps. TGH supports specialised centres and strengthens the management capacities of the Sahrawi Ministry of Social Affairs and Women Promotion.
TGH also set up in 2014 a team of professionals providing home care for the most vulnerable people with disabilities (children with cerebral palsy, bedridden elderly people, etc.).

Education:
In 2015 and 2016, floods caused extensive damages to homes and school and health infrastructures. TGH, in a coordinated response with other NGOs, participated to rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts to rebuild school institutions and one specialised centre. TGH focused on gender sensitive sanitation facilities central to ensuring a gender equitable learning environment with the installation of clean, safe, adapted and separated latrines.

Food Security and Livelihoods:
In a context of lack of natural resources, it is necessary to adopt innovative approaches to both food-related issues and economic activity. TGH, in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), has built in 2019 a fish farm. It contributes to food diversification and will ultimately induce the creation of sustainable jobs, once the local staff, will fully take over the management of the farm.

CURRENT PROGRAMMES

Assistance for people with disabilities, therapeutic activities. Refugee camps of Tinduf. © TGH

Assistance to the most vulnerable groups of Saharawi refugees

Multisectoral
  • Funding: UNHCR
  • Bénéficiaries: 138,400 people
  • Duration: 12 months - From 01/01/2021 to 12/31/2021
  • Budget: USD 1,953,960

This project aims to assist the most vulnerable people among Saharawi refugees, helping to improve living conditions in the camps and to initiate durable solutions. The objective is to address the basic needs of the population in various sectors.

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Improve the school environment in the Sahrawi refugee camps in the Tindouf Region

Education and protection
  • Funding: UNICEF
  • Bénéficiaries: 716 people
  • Duration: 14 months - From 01/01/2020 to 03/31/2021
  • Budget: USD 539,405

Sahrawi refugees living in five camps in the Tindouf region of Algeria almost exclusively rely on humanitarian aid. Moreover, the climatic conditions are extremely harsh in the region (intense heat, drought, wind, rain, flooding, etc.).

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Pilot project for tilapia fish farming in Sahrawi refugee camps, Tindouf Region

Food security and livelihood
  • Funding: World Foof Programme (WFP)
  • Bénéficiaries: 281 people
  • Duration: 17 months - From 09/01/2019 to 02/28/2021
  • Budget: USD 337,204

The fish farm of N Khaila was built under previous funding from the World Food Programme (WFP) within the "Houcine Tameuk" agricultural cluster where activities contributing to the resilience of Sahrawi refugees in the Tindouf Region of Algeria are implemented.

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COMPLETED PROGRAMMES

October 2019 / January 2021

Support for food diversification and nutrition in Sahrawi refugee camps

This project is part of a wider programme implemented by TGH for more than a year in the food security and livelihoods sector. With the financial support of the WFP, the association has supported the construction of a fish farm in a Sahrawi refugee camp, which is now operational.

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January 2019 / December 2019

Assistance to the most vulnerable groups of Sahrawi refugees

The TGH programme for the year 2019 - in collaboration with UNHCR and the Lord Michelham of Hellingly Foundation - follows on from previous annual programmes in the 5 Sahrawi refugee camps in the Tindouf Region. The beneficiary population is made up of refugees from Western Sahara.

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December 2018 / December 2019

Improving the school environment for all Sahrawi refugee camps

This project aims to rehabilitate the schools that have been affected by severe weather and to improve teaching and learning conditions and the number of school facilities in the Sahrawi refugee camps.

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January 2018 / December 2018

Tilapias fish farming pilot project in Sahrawi refugee camps, Tindouf Region

The programme provides for the construction and operation of a pilot fish farm in the wilaya of Smara in order to contribute to the development of local production of diversified food resources in Sahrawi refugee camps.

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January 2018 / December 2018

Assistance to the most vulnerable groups of Sahrawi refugees in the Tindouf Region

This programme aims to improve access to humanitarian assistance for 90,000 Sahrawi refugees living in 5 camps in the Tindouf Region, in south-western Algeria, by meeting their basic needs.

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July 2017 / January 2018

Supporting the rehabilitation of educational facilities and sanitation systems / latrines

Rehabilitation and reconstruction of the educational facilities affected by adverse weather conditions, taking into account the needs in terms of water, hygiene and sanitation (latrines and sanitation in schools).

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January 2017 / December 2017

Assistance to the most vulnerable groups of Sahrawi refugees living in the Tindouf area

Improving access to humanitarian assistance for 90,000 Sahrawi refugees living in five camps in the Tindouf area in south-western Algeria.

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March 2016 / August 2017

Assistance to vulnerable Sahrawi refugees living in the camps South of Tindouf

This program ensures the continuity of the management of the mechanical workshop set up by TGH in 2015, maintains the assistance provided to persons with disabilities, and continues to ensure the security management for aid workers, in order to facilitate their daily activities.

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February 2016 / August 2016

Rehabilitation and reconstruction of the educational and health facilities

This second phase after the torrential rains that hit the 5 camps located in Tindouf area in Octobre 2015, focused on the reconstruction and/or rehabilitation of 10 health and educational facilities to allow people to regain proper access to these services.

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January 2016 / December 2016

Assistance to the most vulnerable groups of Sahrawi refugees living in the Tindouf area

Improving access to humanitarian assistance for 90,000 Sahrawi refugees living in five camps in the Tindouf area in south-western Algeria.

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November 2015 / September 2016

Emergency response and reconstruction for the Saharawi populations affected by the torrential rains

Following the floods that affected Saharawi refugee camps, this first aid project aims to take part in the reconstruction of homes and provide a food supplement to the population.

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May 2014 / April 2015

Assistance programme to vulnerable Saharawi refugees living in the camps south of Tindouf

This programme aims to maintain efficient logistics means and target in priority the most vulnerable beneficiaries (including disabled people). It is divided into three areas of intervention .

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January 2014 / December 2014

Support to most vulnerable groups of Saharawi refugees

This action aims to improve access for a humanitarian assistance addressing the basic needs of Saharawi refugees living in camps in the Tindouf area. The different programme components are: mechanical workshop, disability, health, hygiene and management of the UNHCR bases of Weather Haven and Dakhla.

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January 2013 / December 2013

Support to Saharawi refugees

This is a prolongation of the UNHCR-sponsored programme launched in 2001. All 2010 programmes will continue through 2011 and 2012.

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May 2013 / April 2014

Assistance programme to disabled people in Saharawi refugee camps

This project is the continuation of TGH’s interventions in Saharawi refugee camps south of Tindouf (Aousserd, El Ayoun, Dakhla, Smara and Boujdour camps).

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January 2011 / February 2012

Improvement of the hygiene conditions of women and disabled people

An extension of the previous program, this project aims to improve the conditions of hygiene of Saharawi refugees. The main targets are women and disabled people living in Aoussert, El Aioun, Dakhla, Smara and 27 Février refugee camps, south of Tindouf in Algeria.

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January 2011 / December 2011

Support to Saharawi refugees

This is a prolongation of the UNHCR-sponsored programme launched in 2001. All 2010 programmes will continue through 2011.

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October 2010 / March 2011

Support to World Food Programme Schemes in Saharawi Refugee Camps

TGH partners with the WFP, in the framework of its food distribution to Sahawari populations, to build and rehabilitate 25 storage spaces for WFP's use.

January 2009 / December 2009

Assistance to Saharawi Refugees

This is a prolongation of the UNHCR-sponsored programme launched in 2001. All 2008 programmes will continue through 2009, with an intensification of medical activities (supply of radiology products and equipment), and the creation of family-run vegetable plots in Daklha.

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November 2008 / August 2009

Distribution of hygiene kits to Sahawari Women, Disabled or Elderly people

Phase II of previous programme dedicated to young Saharawi women. We plan to help young Saharawi women benefit from improved hygiene by distributing 190,000 hygiene kits containing soap, shampoo, sanitary towels, washing powder, etc.

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February 2008 / October 2009

Improve the Living Conditions and Restore Basic Livelihoods of Disabled People

This project is the continuation of our previous programmes for elderly or disabled Saharawis living in refugee camps. It aims to improve the beneficiaries' nutritional situation and provide income-generating activities through the following actions.

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September 2007 / September 2008

Purchase and distribution of hygiene kits for Saharawi women in the refugee camps

Phase II of previous programme dedicated to young Saharawi women. We plan to help young Saharawi women benefit from improved hygiene by distributing 190,000 hygiene kits containing soap, shampoo and sanitary towels.

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January 2008 / December 2008

Assistance to Saharawi Refugees

This is a prolongation of the UNHCR-sponsored programme, first launched in 2001. All programmes performed in 2007 will continue through 2008, with an intensification of medical activities (supply of radiology products and equipment).

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February 2007 / November 2007

Support to Elderly & Disabled People in Saharawi Refugee Camps

After three decades living in refugee camps, extremely precarious conditions, lack of medical care and absence of understanding about disability, all the disabled people in the camps are suffering a situation of heightened distress.

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September 2006 / September 2007

Purchase and distribution of hygiene kits for Saharawi women in the refugee camps

Phase II of previous programme dedicated to young Saharawi women. We plan to help young Saharawi women benefit from improved hygiene by distributing 190,000 hygiene kits containing soap, shampoo and sanitary towels.

Read more...

April 2006 / January 2007

Rehabilitation of Health Structures Damaged by the February 2006 Floods

In February 2006, southwest Algeria was the victim of enormous flooding and torrential rains hit the refugee camps. The day after the disaster, it was estimated that 50% of the dwellings were destroyed and 25% were on the verge of collapse leavingsome 55,000 people without shelter.

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October 2005 / September 2006

Support to Elderly & Disabled People in Saharawi Refugee

This distribution program was designed to improve the living conditions of disabled persons and elderly people in the refugee camps. Because of their age or disability, some people cannot travel to special care centres so Triangle supplies crutches, ergonomic crockery, bedding and other essential items to them directly.

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November 2005 / July 2006

Purchase & Distribution of Hygiene Kits for Saharawi Women in Refugee Camps

To reduce the risk of disease and help young Saharawi women benefit from improved hygiene, Triangle distributed 66,000 hygiene kits (containing soap, shampoo and sanitary towels).

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March 2006 / April 2006

EMERGENCY RELIEF
After the February 2006 floods

In February 2006, southwest Algeria was the victim of enormous flooding and torrential rains hit the refugee camps. The day after the disaster, it was estimated that 50% of the dwellings were destroyed and 25% were on the verge of collapse leaving some 55,000 people without shelter.

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April 2004 / December 2004

Support to Care Structures for Disabled Peoples

Supplementing the activities managed in the UNHCR-financed programme, Triangle supported various care structures for disabled people thanks to a grant from the Lord Michelham Foundation.

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December 2002 / January 2004

Creation of a Bakery

The aim of this project was to provide a group of disabled adults with a permanent activity to empower them and enable integration in the Sawary community.

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