ALGERIA – SAHRAWI REFUGEE CAMPS
The Sahrawi refugee situation is one of the most protracted refugee situations in the world and is a result of an unresolved political conflict in Western Sahara. The Sahrawis have been living in camps near Tindouf, a city in southwest Algeria, since 1975 with little access to outside resources. Since 2016, DRC has been promoting livelihood activities targeting the Saharawi youth by equipping them with appropriate knowledge and skills to enable them to engage in economic activities in the labour market, enhance self-reliance and benefit the wider Saharawi community.
DRC Algeria Interventions
In 2017, DRC has continuously developed its livelihoods programming in the refugee camps. The programme works by providing business training, start-up grants, business top-up grants and technical support throughout the year. DRC collaborates closely with the Ministry of Youth that plays a key role in selecting youth for business grants, monitoring supported businesses and providing technical support to the youth receiving business grants. In 2017, DRC designed the programme in line with UNHCR’s five-year livelihood strategy and ECHO HIP 2017, with the aim of improving the living conditions through livelihood activities for the youth. As a result, DRC supported 35 businesses with start-up grants, benefiting 129 youth; provided technical support to 24 businesses that DRC funded in 2016, benefitting 67 youth. Further, DRC trained 1,029 youth on business management skills and provided on the job training to the ministry of youth and sports staff.
In 2017, DRC provided entrepreneurship support for existing micro, small, and medium enterprises, and supported the creation of associations among the business owners. In addition, the teams worked on reinforcing the capacities of local authorities for the delivery of livelihood initiatives and improve coordination with other stakeholders to ensure an integrated response. DRC also conducted awareness campaigns to foster greater acceptance of livelihood programming among the Saharawi. In 2017, 1,096 beneficiaries were supported under the livelihoods programme in Algeria.
DRC Strategic Focus
DRC will continue to implement the Livelihood programme through business grants and continued mentorship and support to existing and supported business. DRC is currently looking for funding opportunities to consolidate and expand the current programme in the Saharawi controlled territories.