The refugees

While Morocco is selling the riches of Western Sahara to foreign governments and companies, the majority of the Sahrawi population suffers an emergency humanitarian crisis in the refugee camps in Algeria.
Published: 16.09 - 2007 18:23Printer version    
When Morocco bombed the towns in Western Sahara during the 1975 occupation, the majority of the Sahrawi population fled the country.

Today, more than 30 years later, approximately 165.000 refugees still live in refugee camps in the desert across the border to Algeria.

They are completely dependent on foreign humanitarian aid, but every year the aid is decreasing.

A study from the Norwegian Church Aid and Medicos del Mundo in 2008, showed that 19 percent of children in the camps suffer from malnutrition. According to the UN, one has an emergency crisis when 15% of children are malnourished.

The multilateral aid (from WFP, ECHO and UNHCR) to the Sahrawi refugee camps 2007 amounted to approximately 30 million dollars. As a comparison: Morocco probably earned around 1500 billion dollars on the illegal phosphate exports from the occupied territory in the year 2008 alone.




Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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