The United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has warned of the serious humanitarian crisis in the Saharawi camps in Tindouf in Algeria. In particular, Guterres highlighted the malnutrition plaguing the refugees, according to a report by Morocco World News.
Guterres warned of an "alarming trend of malnutrition", recalling also the severe cuts of up to 80% in food rations for Sahrawi refugees in the camps.
"Refugees are at risk of severe food insecurity and malnutrition," the report notes. The UN has also identified health care, education, energy and housing as challenges in the Tindouf camps.
"The standard of living of vulnerable refugees in the camps worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of rising global food and fuel prices and disruptions in supply chains," the report adds.
With little hope for a solution, the UN says the picture in Tindouf is becoming "increasingly alarming with serious short-term threats to food security and access to basic services".
Several reports have also repeatedly denounced the human rights situation, in particular violations committed by the Polisario Front, such as the lack of freedom of expression and the recruitment of child soldiers. The current serious food crisis has also been linked to the misappropriation of humanitarian aid destined for the camps.
OLAF, the European Commission's anti-fraud agency, already denounced this corruption in a report in 2015. The institution accused the Polisario of being directly involved in the embezzlement of humanitarian aid since 2003. According to Brussels, the aid sent was sold in Algeria, Mauritania and Mali.
International organisations and institutions have also called for help for the children of Tindouf who are turned into soldiers. Under the hashtag #Save_The_Children_of_Tindouf thousands of internet users have called on the international community to act and protect the rights of child refugees.
Morocco has warned on several occasions about this situation. Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita reiterated Rabat's concern in April. "The indoctrination and recruitment of children by the armed militias of the Polisario constitutes an inhuman crime and a denial of the basic rights of the children recruited, as well as a flagrant violation of the resolutions adopted by the Security Council on the matter", the head of Moroccan diplomacy pointed out in statements reported by Morocco World News.
The Moroccan media also points out that the UN has expressed its concern about the Polisario's actions, in particular those that hinder the work of the peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara.