Operation: Opération: Algeria



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Key Figures

2018 year-end results
100% of primary school-aged Sahrawi children had access to education, with 38,512 children enrolled in school 
100% of Sahrawi refugees had access to primary health care 
10% increase in access to secondary healthcare 
108 cases were submitted for resettlement
100 reinforced concrete water tanks and 46 plastic reservoirs distributed among the Tindouf camps
2019 planning figures
100% of people of concern will be registered on an individual basis
100% of primary school-aged refugee and asylum-seeker children will be enrolled in school
4,000 shelter maintenance tool kits and materials will be provided to Western Saharan refugees
20 litres of potable water, on average, will be made available per person per day for refugees from Western Sahara
15 health facilities for Western Saharan refugees will be equipped/constructed/rehabilitated

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2018 103,276
2017 100,614
2016 99,949


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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[32.70824967,33.227035854,28.96476598,36.540225984,36.36308793,37.04628415],"expenditure":[14.41533372,16.01047015,16.14724515,15.47144188,14.16752012,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[32.70824967,33.227035854,28.96476598,36.540225984,36.36308793,37.04628415],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[14.41533372,16.01047015,16.14724515,15.47144188,14.16752012,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Operational environment

In 2018, UNHCR continued its protection and assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers in Algeria, both in Algiers and in Tindouf, where the reduction of monthly food rations to Sahrawi refugees was particularly concerning. Advocacy for the adoption of a national asylum framework also continued. Arrest operations by Algerian authorities were reported throughout 2018, with 374 people of concern arrested and 139 deported to Mali and Nigeria, leading to an increasingly difficult protection environment.

Population trends

The number of refugees and asylum seekers increased slightly in 2018, with some 9,310 people of concern registered in Algiers, most originating from Syria, Guinea, Mali, and Côte D’Ivoire. The number of Yemeni nationals registering in Algeria also increased by nearly 60% from 2017. UNHCR continued to provide international protection, assistance, and services to Sahrawi refugees in five camps near Tindouf. Arrivals from Algeria to Spain also rose during the year, with migrants increasingly resorting to the Western Mediterranean route. 

Key achievements

  • Camp-based refugees in Tindouf saw greater access to self-employment and business development through enhanced livelihoods capabilities, raising employment among refugees – particularly women and youth – when compared to the previous year.
  • Following the development of a multi-agency Humanitarian Appeal, the percentage of donor contributions rose from 22% in 2017 to 40% in 2018.
  • A cross-regional Incident Prevention and Response Mechanism was put into place, which resulted in more systematized response and follow-up to expulsions from Algeria to Niger and Mali.

Unmet needs

  • Although UNHCR engaged with local partners to provide people of concern with access to necessary academic and vocational training services, many people of concern continued to suffer due to lack of funding and resources. Particularly in Tindouf, approximately 65% of schoolbook requirements were not covered, and more than 60% of learning environments required structural improvement.
  • While UNHCR constructed 120 water reservoirs for most vulnerable families in four of the five camps in Tindouf, the provision of water remained below half of the international standard of 20 litres/person/day.
  • The health and lifesaving sectors remained critically underfunded for camp-based Sahrawi refugees, for example: 30% of essential drugs were not covered, 25% of laboratory and x-ray needs were not met, and 47 out of 88 medical staff did not receive financial incentives for their work.

Working environment

In Algeria, UNHCR, with its partners, provides protection and assistance to 7,000 urban refugees and asylum-seekers and to 90,000 vulnerable refugees from Western Sahara, sheltered in five camps near Tindouf. Limited access outside of the capital Algiers is a major constraint for UNHCR to reach out to people in need of international protection, in the context of mixed migration movements from Sub-Saharan Africa. In Tindouf camps, donor fatigue and dwindling funding levels are directly impacting the delivery of life-saving assistance, including food assistance. Frustration over the lack of opportunities, especially among youth, is a growing concern.
Refugees and asylum-seekers in camps and urban environments are given free access to medical services and education by the authorities. Algeria’s contribution is significant, in particular in the five Sahrawi refugee camps near Tindouf, where authorities allocated land, built roads and provided electricity. Sahrawi students have access to secondary schools outside the camps and all refugees have also access to local auxiliary health care by the Algerian authorities.
UNHCR works closely with its counterparts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Algeria Red Crescent, on refugee issues and coordinates with the other UN agencies in the United Nations Country Team. Moreover, UNHCR is leading the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) which provides a forum for strategic planning and decision making for all phases of the refugee response and the Inter-Sector Working Group (ISWG) which coordinates assistance activities in different sectors (health, education, WASH, etc.) in Tindouf.

Key priorities

In 2018, UNHCR’s main priorities in Algeria will be:
  • To preserve and expand a favourable protection environment, including outside Algiers, and advocate for the adoption of a national asylum law;
  • To carry out registration, refugee status determination, assistance to the most vulnerable people, livelihoods opportunities, and resettlement activities for urban refugees;
  • To provide life-saving assistance to refugees from Western Sahara, notably by investing in the expansion and improvement of the water network in camps—in particular Smara and Dakhla notably.  To expand opportunities for youth, including livelihoods opportunities, entrepreneurship and business training, vocational training, sports equipment, and support to women and youth centers.     
Latest contributions
  • 17-JUL-2019
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  • 11-JUL-2019
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  • 08-JUL-2019
    European Union
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  • 05-JUL-2019
  • 04-JUL-2019

    private donors

  • European Union
  • Japan
  • 03-JUL-2019
  • 02-JUL-2019
  • 30-JUN-2019

    private donors

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