Double Burden of Malnutrition in the Sahrawi Refugee Population

Tindouf refugee camps

June 2009 - Dec 2013


Emergency Nutrition Network


Principle Investigators

Carlos Grijalva-Eternod

Andrew Seal


Andrew Seal
Nutrition in Crisis Research Group

Since 2009, UCL has been involved in implementing projects and providing technical assistance to support the work of the UNHCR High Commissioner’s Special Project on the prevention, control and reduction of anaemia in refugees.

Analysis of nutrition survey results has indicated a problem of obesity in women living in the refugees camps in Tindouf, SW Algeria, along with the persistence of under-nutrition in children.

Weighing a women and child

The project involved the collection of survey data on the nutritional status of women

and children in 2010 and 2012. Detailed analysis of the data revealed the existence of both overweight and under-nutrition, i.e. a double burden of malnutrition within  households.

The results from this analysis have now been published and we are seeking funding to help fully evaluate the health impacts of the double burden in this population, who is mostly reliant on food assistance for survival, and to design effective interventions.

In this paper we documented the extent of the double burden of malnutrition in this vulnerable population.

The double burden of obesity and malnutrition in a protracted emergency setting: a cross-sectional study of Western Sahara refugees (2012)

This project is funded by a series of grants from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)