It remains to be seen whether the Sahrawi refugees received the $725,000 cargo or if it was embezzled.
The statement said that Saudi Arabia’s dates donation was worth $ 725,000. WFP announced that each refugee received two kilograms of dates.
“Over the last few years, Saudi Arabia has been keen to donate dates distributed to Sahrawi refugees in [Tindouf] camps in Algeria,” said WEP.
The report added that the Saudi contribution was “officially presented during the ceremony held at the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Algiers in the presence of Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Algeria Abdulaziz bin Ibrahim Hamad Al Omairini.”
WFP expressed gratitude to King Salman and the Saudi people for their “generous contributions.”
The statement added that dates are important, especially during Ramadan.
“Saudi Arabia, is one of the most significant donors to WFP in Algeria, contributing about $ 5.7 million since 2010. Since 2008, Saudi Arabia has contributed more than $ 1.5 billion to support WFP operations around the world,” added the statement.
Embezzlement of humanitarian aid
In the 2018 report on Western Sahara, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that the lack of progress in the political process to end the conflict as well as “persistent difficulties, such as malnutrition, brought about by the steady reductions in humanitarian aid” were both contributing factors to the poor conditions in the Tindouf camps.
In the sixth section of the report, the UN chief warned that “malnutrition and anaemia prevalence remained public health concerns.”
What the UN report failed to mention is that the Tindouf camps have witnessed several food embezzlement scandals.
In 2014, the European Anti-Fraud Committee, known as OLAF published a report in which it detailed how Algerian officials and the Polisario leadership have embezzled the humanitarian aid intended for the Tindouf camps for the past four decades.
Earlier in 2019, The president of the Canary Sahrawi Forum, Miguel Angel Ortiz, wrote an opinion piece published by La Provincia to condemn what he called Polisario’s embezzlement of aid and corruption.
The author said that a new scandal broke within the Tindouf camps following the misappropriation of some €2.5 million of humanitarian aid from the international community for Sahrawis living in Tindouf camps.