ACAPS Briefing Note: The Gambia - Displacement (26 January 2017)

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Crisis overview

Political uncertainty in the Gambia, due to former President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to accept the results of the 1 December presidential election, drove thousands of Gambians to flee the country into Senegal and Guinea-Bissau (News 24 25/01/2017). As of 22 January, over 76,000 people have reportedly sought shelter in Senegal since early January (UNHCR 24/01/2017). An estimated 3,500 Gambians have sought safety in Guinea-Bissau since midJanuary (UNHCR 24/01/2017). Although some people have already begun to return, an estimated 50,000 Gambians remained in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau as of 24 January (UNHCR 24/01/2017). Additionally, an estimated 150,000 people are internally displaced (United Purpose 22/01/2017).

Key findings

Anticipated scope and scale

As former President Jammeh has stepped down, and the political crisis has ended, further large-scale displacement is not expected from the Gambia. Since the end of the political impasse, Gambians have begun to leave Senegal and return to the Gambia. As of 23 January, approximately 8,000 people have returned to the Gambia.

Priorities for humanitarian intervention

  • Shelter and NFIs: Displaced persons are likely to need emergency shelter. IDPs are taking shelter in rural areas, which are struggling to cope with the sudden influx of new arrivals.

  • Food: The high number of displaced persons hosted by host families in Senegal has put a strain on food resources. Several host families have reportedly had to dig into their food reserves to feed the displaced people they are hosting.

  • Protection: The majority of the displaced are women and children, who are likely to face protection risks.

Humanitarian constraints

No humanitarian constraints have been reported