Algeria has a population of 38,087,812 with 23% of the population under the poverty line (2004 est). Algeria is host to a protracted refugee situation with the government, assisted by UNHCR, providing assistance to an estimated caseload of 165,000 persons. These reside in Tindouf camps in the south-west of the country. In the absence of registration, UNHCR assists some 90,000 vulnerable people. There are also more than 4,000 Palestinians in Algeria who are well integrated and have not approached UNHCR for assistance. Since the eruption of violence in Mali in early 2012, a significant number of Malians sought safety in Algeria, according to Government sources. Most are being hosted by families along the border. There are also reports that thousands of Syrians arrived in Algeria since 2012.
Algeria is acknowledged to be a disaster-prone country, in which large-scale earthquakes have an average period of return of less than four years and floods, drought, forest fires and locust infestations cause loss of life and property on a yearly basis.
According to the UNHCR, the comprehensive budget for the operation in Algeria in 2013 amounted to US$28.2 million. There was a slight increase of US$2.6 million over the budget in 2012, which was due to investments in critical sectors in the Sahrawi camps to improve people’s well being. ECHO is the largest donor for Saharawi refugees, allocating €10 million in 2013.
The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) provided US$3 million to Algeria as part of its support to underfunded emergencies.
In September 2013, with the support of UN regional offices, the UNCT in Algeria started developing contingency plans to improve emergency preparedness. This included an earthquake simulation exercise.
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