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The Gambia receives $28.5 million from the US Department of Agriculture

September 27th 2022, 4:30:49 pm
A Gambia plantation
  • The US Department of Agriculture has granted The Gambia a $28.5 million relief fund
  • IMF notes that The Gambia is ill-equipped to deal with its food crisis
  • The food crisis is a result of numerous factors, most notably climate change and food importation challenges

In an effort to assist The Gambia with its food security program, the United States Department of Agriculture has awarded the country the sum of $28.5 million.

The award is a part of President Biden’s $2 billion pledge he made at the United Nations General Assembly to help alleviate the current food insecurity in impoverished regions.

The funds are being awarded through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service administers.

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The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, according to its site is a program that helps support education, child development, and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries around the globe. The program provides for the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities and financial and technical assistance to support school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects.

A few weeks ago, The National Disaster Management Agency of The Gambia warned that the already deplorable food security in the country is projected to worsen.

Food insecurity which has become synonymous with several Sub-Saharan African nations is a result of the effects of climate change, which has caused droughts in some regions and floods in some, and a result of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Sandwiched between these issues, many African governments are struggling to conclusively and proportionally feed their population. Other factors like a hike in the price of fertilizers, storage infrastructures, seed development, import financing facilities, massive debts, and levies imposed on imported goods, make it hard for food insecurity to be dealt with swiftly.

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A few weeks ago, the International Monetary Fund released a report that listed The Gambia as one of the countries with a very poor food import financing facility, alongside Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Togo, and Yemen.

Earlier this month, The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) presented an emergency food assistance program targeting 51,200 Gambian women, men, and children affected by the worst flash floods the country experienced in nearly half a century.

Yasuhiro Tsumura, WFP’s Representative and Country Director in The Gambia, said, “At a time when the country is facing the highest level 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.”

Despite its relatively low population and its little carbon footprint, the country has been a victim of some of the worst effects of the current climate crisis.

Chinedu Okafor
Chinedu is a Senior Reporter at Business Insider Africa with 5 years experience creating profoundly engaging and insightful content.

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