WFP kick starts emergency food assistance to flood-hit and severely food insecure families in the Gambia
BANJUL – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) today launched an emergency food assistance programme targeting 51,200 women, men and children affected by the worst flash floods the Gambia has experienced in nearly half a century. Driven by torrential rains in late July 2022, the flooding has mainly hit the suburbs in urban settlements - with women and children under 5 accounting for almost three-quarters of the total affected population.
“Providing food assistance to vulnerable families in times of crisis is at the core of WFP’s life-saving mandate. At a time when the country is facing the highest levels of hunger of the last decade, we are committed to working with the Government to support flood-hit communities and relieve vulnerable communities from the brunt of the economic downturn – helping to prevent the already dire situation from further deteriorating,” said Yasuhiro Tsumura, WFP’s Representative and Country Director in the Gambia.
WFP’s emergency food assistance in the form of cash distributions will help affected families meet their basic food and nutrition needs at a time when food prices are skyrocketing, pushing basic meals out of the reach of many in the country.
The latest food security assessment data reveals the worst level of food insecurity and malnutrition in The Gambia, with 207,000 people - approximately 8.6 percent of the population - facing emergency levels of hunger between June and August 2022. Hunger is driven by recurrent flash flooding, poor harvests following the 2021 agricultural season, the socio-economic fallout from the pandemic, and spiralling food, fuel and transport costs linked to the ongoing global upheaval in food and energy markets.
The ongoing assistance is funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Respond Fund (UNCERF) and WFP’s Immediate Response Account (IRA) and is delivered in partnership with the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA). Targeted families were identified by the Government of The Gambia through a joint assessment conducted by NDMA, WFP, and UN partners. Each supported household will receive 2,350 Gambian Dalasis (US$ 43.50) per month for three months.
WFP will continue working with its partners and the people of The Gambia to build the resilience of the most vulnerable communities against climate shocks, in addition to enhancing the government’s capacity in disaster management and social protection. To ensure continued lifesaving and resilience-building operations over the next six months, WFP Gambia urgently requires an additional US$ 7.3 million.
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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.
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