After UK’s £500,000 Aid: US$3.89M More Needed To Feed Gambia
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Half a million pounds of British taxpayers’ money has been donated to The Gambia, the UK High Commissioner to The Gambia, David Morley, announced Monday at the British High Commission in Banjul.
The aid, which came through UK’s Department for International Development (DfID), who had ceased operations in the country over ‘lack of results’, was in response to the food crisis triggered by last year’s nationwide crop failure.
It was awarded to the UN agency for food in the country, WFP-Gambia, to purchase and distribute 1,096 tons of lifesaving food to over 45, 000 Gambians over the next two months.
High Commissioner Morley: “The United Kingdom will not sit back whilst children are at risk of starvation in The Gambia and this money should provide lifesaving food to over 45,000 Gambian people for over two months.“This £500,000 should go a long way in helping to address the food crisis affecting over 200,000 families across the country. This money is in addition to the £43 million pounds already donated from the UK to help fight the food crisis across the Sahel region.”
“The UK Department for International Development is funded by the UK taxpayer is committed to lifting millions of people out of poverty, getting children into school, and preventing unnecessary deaths from disease or inadequate medical treatment. The majority of UK aid is provided to countries via non-governmental agencies such as the World Food Programme where the UK does not apply conditionality policy.”
The poor harvests experienced by Gambian farmers in last year’s cropping season left them with just two months of food supplies, instead of the usual 4-6 months, a situation that forces them to settle for one meal a day amid acute food shortage reports say.
“The prevalence of acute malnutrition among children under-five has increased in the last 5 years to alert levels,” said the head of the UN agency for children in the country, UNICEF, Aichatou Diawara Flambat, who was also speaking at the news conference.
However, even after the UK’s aid, which followed a number of similar humanitarians assistance that followed Gambia government’s March 29 declaration of crop failure and request for assistance, more support is still needed, according to the WFP representative in the country.
Vitoria Ginja said: “WFP’s emergency operation in The Gambia is currently targeting 206,000 most vulnerable people through two complementary activities; general food distributions composed of rice and oil to 206,000 most food insecure people and blanket supplementary feeding for 25,000 children under 5 with super cereal and oil that are micronutrient fortified to prevent acute
Author: Ousman Camara