The Gambia is in the process of recovery from a severe drought in 2011 but remains vulnerable to environmental and economic shocks throughout 2012. Over 206,000 people (12 per cent of population) from small-holder farming households in over half of Gambia’s farming districts are currently benefiting from emergency relief until the October 2012 harvest. Retail food and fuel prices are at an all-time high. For the first time, the retail price of rice has surpassed the benchmark of 20 Dalasi per kg as of August 2012. Nominal rice prices are 16 per cent higher in the third quarter of 2012 than in the same period of 2011. The average price of coarse grains (maize, millet, sorghum) in July and August 2012 is almost 4 per cent below the 2011 level. As of August 2012, fuel prices at pump level are 11 per cent higher compared to the same month in 2011 and 41 per cent above the price level in 2010.
Windstorms and heavy rainfall has adversely affected nearly 34,000 people out of which 7,800 have been displaced. Farming households who had their livelihoods eroded by both the 2011 crop failure and the 2012 floods are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity.