- Known officially as the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Algeria is a member of the African Union, the Arab League, OPEC, and the United Nations.
- Algeria is the largest country in Africa and the Arab world, the tenth-largest country in the world, and is comprised by more than four-fifths desert.
- Algeria is about 3.5 times the size of Texas. Ninety-one percent of the Algerian population lives along the Mediterranean coast on 12% of the country’s total land mass.
- Capital city: Algiers (pop. 2.594 million) -largest city
- Religion: predominantly Islam
- Literacy rate: 69.9%
- The Algerian Civil War was an armed conflict between the Algerian government and various Islamist rebel groups beginning in 1991. More than 160,000 people were killed between 1992 and 2002 in various terrorist attacks which were claimed by the Armed Islamic Group and Islamic Salvation Army.
- Population: 34,542,166
- Economy: The fossil fuels energy sector accounts for 60% of budget revenues, 30% of GDP, and over 95% of export earnings. The country ranks 16th in petroleum reserves.
- Official language: Modern Standard Arabic (as specified in its constitution since 1963) and Berber (since 2002)
- Weather: In this region, midday desert temperatures can be hot year round. After sunset, however, the clear, dry air permits rapid loss of heat, and the nights are cool to chilly. Enormous daily ranges in temperature are recorded. The highest official temperature was 50.6 °C (123.1 °F) at In Salah.
- Current weather conditions: www.weather.com
- Tips for travel in country: www.travel.state.gov
- Currency exchange rates: www.xe.com
Government in Power
- A republic
- President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (since 1999)
- Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal (since 2014)
- To date, Algeria has had more than 40 legal political parties. According to the constitution, no political association may be formed if it is based on differences in religion, language, race, gender, profession, or region.
- Living conditions are moderate.
- Maternal mortality rate: 140/100,000
- Life expectancy: 76.59 years
- Infant mortality: 20.98 deaths/1,000 live births
- Health expenditures: 6.6% GDP
- Physician density: 1.21/1,000
- Hospital bed density: 1.7/1,000
- Housing and medicine shortages continue to be pressing problems in Algeria. Failing infrastructure and the continued influx of people from rural to urban areas has overtaxed both systems.
- Access to clean water sources is a major concern. Access was limited to 84.3% of the population in urban areas and 81.8% of the population in rural areas. Algeria is making progress toward its goal of “reducing by half the number of people without sustainable access to improved drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015.”
- HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 0.04%
- Infectious diseases: TB, trachoma, general infections, diphtheria, mumps, typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery and hepatitis are all relatively common.
- Infectious disease updates: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm
Images from the Field
It was by random chance I got to work with the GFR team in Jordan 2014. Turned out the organization they were working with in Jordan needed an extra translator, and I just so happened to be in Amman at the time.
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