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Africa: Overseas Aid

Volume 486: debated on Wednesday 21 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support he has made available to those Saharans currently residing in camps (a) in Algeria and (b) displaced elsewhere in Africa. (248172)

The Department for International Development (DFID) supports Western Saharan refugees through its share of the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office's (ECHO) budget, and contributions to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). ECHO provided €10 million in 2008 to support Western Saharan refugees of which the UK share was approximately €140,000. UNHCR continue to provide assistance to Western Saharan refugees with US$7.8 million provided in 2008. DFID does not contribute directly to the UNHCR appeal for Western Saharan refugees, but is the sixth largest donor to UNHCR, providing US$56 million in non-earmarked flexible funding to its annual budget in 2007 and a similar amount in 2008.

Around 90,000 Western Saharan refugees are reported to be living in Algeria; none are reported to be living elsewhere in Africa. Around 600 more are dispersed across other parts of the globe.