Japan supports WFP emergency food and nutrition assistance to vulnerable Gambians during the rainy season
Banjul – The World Food Programme (WFP) has received a US$1.5 million (JPY 164 million) contribution from the Government and people of Japan to provide emergency food and nutrition assistance to 25,000 people affected by climate shocks and the economic fallout from COVID19 and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
With this contribution WFP will work closely with the Government of The Gambia to distribute emergency food assistance to severely food insecure people, and provide fortified blended foods to malnourished children under 5, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. WFP will also promote appropriate and essential feeding and care practices through nutrition education and awareness raising to increase the knowledge and skills of mothers and caregivers within the community.
"We are grateful for the timely support from the Government and people of Japan to vulnerable Gambians, which comes at a critical time for The Gambia," said Yasuhiro Tsumura, WFP’s Representative in The Gambia. "With the country now experiencing unprecedented levels of food insecurity, this contribution will help us be ready ahead of the rainy season to provide life-saving assistance to the growing number of people in need including those at risk of flooding and/or severely affected by the economic crises.”
According to the Cadre Harmonisé food security assessment (November 2022), The Gambia is facing its worst food crisis in a decade with 320,000 women, men and children projected to be unable to provide food for themselves and requiring emergency food assistance (IPC 3 and 4) during the upcoming rainy season (June to August 2023). This represents a 55 percent increase from the 2021 figure of 207,000.
Key drivers of the worsening food and nutrition security situation in The Gambia include climate shocks, high food prices (heavily linked to the Ukraine crisis), the high level of unemployment which has led to the decreasing purchasing power of many families. The most vulnerable and victims of natural disasters such as floods are the most affected by the food crisis.
"In times of crisis, it is important for the international community to come together and support one another. Japan is pleased to support The Gambian government’s efforts through WFP to combat food insecurity and malnutrition in the country. We remain committed to assisting the people of The Gambia, especially during these trying times” said Izawa Osamu, Ambassador of Japan to The Gambia at the project launching ceremony in Banjul.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.