The government of the United Kingdom is to provide more than 1000 tonnes of rice to feed 45,000 Gambians as part of efforts at helping to mitigate the impact of the food crisis that hit the country as a result of the national crop failure blamed on erratic rainfall in the last farming season.
|UK High Commissioner to The Gambia, Mr. Morley|
According to the UK High Commissioner to The Gambia, David Morley, the British Government, through the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), will donate £500,000, equivalent to over D24 million, to The Gambia in response to the food crisis.
Speaking at a press conference held at the British High Commission in Fajara on 6 August, Mr Morley said the money 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,” he remarked.
“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.”
The donation will be given to the World Food Programme (WFP) in The Gambia which should enable it to purchase and distribute 1,096 tonnes of rice, the staple food in The Gambia, to feed over 45,000 Gambians for the next two months.
WFP Gambia Country Director Vitoria Ginga, said thanks to UK’s contribution, the WFP will continue to provide food and nutrition assistance to vulnerable groups in the 19 most affected districts of the country.
WFP’s emergency operation in The Gambia is currently assisting 206,000 vulnerable people in two operations; through general food distributions of rice and oil to the most affected households, and through blanket supplementary feeding of super cereal and oil to 25,000 children, aged 6-59 months, to prevent more children becoming malnourished during this food crisis.
The DFID is funded by the UK taxpayers and 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 WFP where the UK does not apply conditionality policy.