Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thousands of Gambians at risk of hunger, malnutrition

Thousands of Gambians, particularly children, mothers with babies and pregnant women, are vulnerable to hunger, undernourishment and malnutrition in the coming three months as the World Food Programme that provides feeding to most of these “hungry Gambians” faces huge funding shortage which could affect their aid programme in the coming months, this paper has gathered.

World Food Programme offices in The Gambia is currently facing a funding shortfall of US$3.89 millions hence appeals to more donor support and guidance to continue to play a leading role in combating hunger which has increased in the country over the past few months as a result of the crop failure.

The funding shortfalls could lead to providing less food to fewer people, and also prioritizing lifesaving assistance at the cost of more long-term efforts.

WFP Gambia Country Representative Vitoria Ginga said as a strategy to raise the most needed funding, the agency is calling on both local and international donors to support them to continue the humanitarian exercise of providing lifesaving food to crisis-hit Gambians, especially in this raining season during which poor households find it difficult to put food on the table.

“We are knocking the doors of donors in The Gambia, in Senegal and everywhere in the world to find funding for the country,” she said.  “WFP depends 100% on donation; we do not have the physical cash to fund our operations.  We will continue pleading for more donors to come forward to help us plug that shortfall for the benefits of the children of The Gambia.”
However, the WFP Gambia director explained that not only WFP Gambia is facing the funding shortfall; “all the countries in the Sahel region face funding shortfall”. 

She said bigger countries like Mali are facing bigger problems because they have a larger population hence the need for more resources. 


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