Institute for Global Health


Double Burden of Malnutrition in the Sahrawi Refugee Population

double burden

Dates: June 2009 - December 2013

Principal Investigator: Dr Andrew Seal

Partners: Emergency Nutrition Network | UNHCR

Location: Algeria

Funding: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Contact: a.seal@ucl.ac.uk

Project summary


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.

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.

Research Team

Dr Andrew Seal

Carlos Grijalva-Eternod


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

Population Health & Health Systems

Sustainability & Climate Change


Further research