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Rights group: Algeria covering majority of expenses for 200,000 refugees and immigrants

An Algerian human rights organisation said on Tuesday that the country is covering the majority of expenses for more than 200,000 secret refugees and immigrants coming from several Arab and African countries in the absence of international aid.

According to a report issued by the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights, an independent organisation, the figures constitute the outcome of its field investigation about refugees fleeing crises, as well as illegal immigrants.

The report emphasised that in the current month of Ramadan, for example, the number of restaurants allocated for refugees and immigrants to break their fast has gone down by more than 50 per cent compared with previous years due to the economic crisis that the country is facing.

The Algerian economic crisis has affected the volume of state funding for associations that oversee campaigns of solidarity with refugees and immigrants, including the Algerian Red Crescent.

The organisation said: "Statistics confirm that Algeria spent on refugees on its territory $33 million in 2015, while the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Algeria provides less than $28 million in support."

The report said that there are 165,000 Sahrawi refugees in Tindouf, while the UNHCR in Algeria asserts that there are only 90,000.

The report also says there are 4,040 Palestinian refugees and 40,000 Libyan refugees, while the UNHCR in Algeria puts their number at 32,000 only.

Algeria depends on oil revenues which constitute 97 per cent of its income. The country has been suffering a severe economic crisis since the collapse of oil prices in the global market in mid-2014.

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