By Binta Jaiteh
Sanna Dahaba, Executive Director (ED) of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) has commended the Japanese government for the donation of more than thirty-six million dalasi (D36 million) worth of food items through the World Food Program to The Gambian government.
He described the donation timely as the farming communities brace up for another farming season when many families find it difficult to make end meets.
The NDMA Supremo commendation came up while delivering his launching statement at the World Food Programme warehouse in Kanifing, where the food items were handed over to The Gambian government on Tuesday 16th May 2023.
“The National Disaster Management Agency appreciates this assistance to the population through the World Food Programme. We commit to working with WFP, in the identification, registration, and distribution of these food items to the population that are most in need,” Sanna Dahaba, NDMA Executive Director assured.
He added: “The assistance is timely as the rainy season is the most difficult period for families and households in the country. During this period, households’ food stocks are depleted, food prices are higher, more energy is required in the farms, and the risks of climate-related disasters.”
According to him, the increased frequency of climate-related shocks has created unprecedented challenges for The Gambia thus impacting negatively the country’s food and nutrition security.
He added that the 2022, floods were the worst in almost half a century and their impact on food insecurity makes the food donation very timely.
“The Government of The Gambia under the leadership of His Excellency Adama Barrow has made bold steps by clearly articulating the need to build resilience to shocks as indicated in the National Development Plan. The Government will continue to take necessary actions in the form of policy and action plans to enhance food security,” Dahaba disclosed.
He reassured that the government will continue to work with the WFP and partners to provide humanitarian assistance through food or cash distribution for immediate relief in case of emergencies.
Yasuhiro Tsumura, World Food Programme, Country Director, disclosed that the food assistance will reach twenty-six thousand (26,000) Gambian households, adding that four thousand (4000) malnourished children and one thousand (1000) elderly and poor and vulnerable families.
According to him, all the donated food items amounting to thirty-six million dalasi (D36 million) and were all locally sourced and purchased from local farmers meant to enhance their incomes.
He noted that this has amounted to nine hundred (900) metric tons of nutritive food items including rice and beans that are hoped to add great nutritive value to the diet of the beneficiaries.
Dr. Ahmadou Lamin Samateh, Minister of Health of The Gambia, and Osamu Izawa, Japan Ambassador all highlighted the strong bilateral and fruitful relationship between the two countries, affirming that the donated food items will go a long way to helping the beneficiaries in no small measure.