With a USD 227,000 contribution from the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) are providing emergency food assistance to 17,600 people affected by floods in the Gambia’s West Coast (WCR) and Upper River Region (URR).
The operation is part of a joint effort by the Government of the Gambia and its partners to address the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable populations during the post-flooding season. Between July and August 2021 heavy spots of rain coupled with windstorms and flash floods damaged food stocks, livelihoods, property, infrastructure, schools, water sources, rice fields, and other food crops.
“WFP is committed to supporting the government and working with partners to help alleviate the suffering caused by climate-related disasters in the Gambia”, said Yasuhiro Tsumura, WFP Representative and Country Director. “The cash assistance is particularly crucial during this post-disaster period when crops especially rice fields have been destroyed with families wondering about where their next meal will come from”.
Under the ongoing WFP response, targeted families will each receive 1,500 Dalasi (approximately 30 USD) per month to meet their acute food and nutrition needs in October and November 2021. In addition to the cash transfers provided by WFP, disaster-affected families also receive support for the reconstruction of shelters and the rehabilitation of water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities through NDMA.
“The Government of Gambia is committed to supporting disaster-affected people with dignity as required by humanitarian standards,” said NDMA Executive Director, Sanna Dahaba. “At NDMA, we strive to help vulnerable families meet their immediate needs while reinforcing their capacities so they can be more resilient to climate shocks,” he added.
The Gambia has been experiencing frequent climate-related disasters over the past few years negatively affecting the food insecurity situation of the country. As the Lead of the UN Disaster Management Group, WFP coordinates a harmonized national disaster preparedness and response plan with the objective to build communities’ resilience to enable them to mitigate against disasters.