Algeria Number of Refuges in Tindouf Camps Doesn’t Exceed 90,000: UNHCR

Tindouf Camps, Algeria

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirmed in a statement issued Friday that the official figures used for humanitarian aid planning for the Tindouf camps remain unchanged.

“UNHCR would like to confirm that our official planning figure for the most vulnerable Sahrawi refugees in the Tindouf camps in Algeria remains 90,000,” it said in a statement posted on its official website.

Denying Figures Put Forward by Algeria and ‘Polisario’, UNHCR Confirms Consistent Position on Assessment of Humanitarian Aid in Tindouf and calls on member donors to ensure that the humanitarian aid destined for the Tindouf is commensurate with the estimated needs of the population.

“UNHCR will continue to rely on these figures until a full-fledged registration exercise is carried out. In the meantime, these figures remain an estimate of needs in the camps pending the outcome of an inter-agency vulnerability assessment. UNHCR calls on donors to ensure that humanitarian assistance is commensurate with the estimated needs,” it added.

In this way, UNHCR denies the biased figures conveyed in recent weeks by Algeria and the “Polisario” and reaffirms the imperative of registration in accordance with its mandate and successive Security Council resolutions since 2011.

Algeria and the Polisario have long claimed that the number of refugees living in the Tindouf camps exceeds 160,000 people.

UNHCR’s statement strengthens Morocco’s consistent position calling for the census and registration of the populations of the Tindouf camps.