Period covered by this final report: 27 April 2012 to 31 January 2013.
Appeal target (current): CHF 1,100,051
Appeal coverage: 65% covered in cash and kind
• The Emergency Appeal was launched on 27 April 2012 for CHF 1,859,746 in cash, kind, or services to support Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) to assist 8,500 households (51,000 beneficiaries) for 8 months and to be completed by the end of December 2012. As a start up of the operation CHF 185,974 was allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF).
• The Revised Emergency Appeal launched on 2 July 2012 had a reduced budget to CHF 1,100,051 and number of beneficiaries to 34,668 people (5,778 households).
• The Six Months Update was issued on 11 December 2012 informing of a one month timeframe extension to complete the operations by the end of January 2013, bringing the total operations to 9 months. The extension was needed to finalise the implementation of four women-led community vegetable gardens and the rehabilitation of the GRCS warehouse.
Despite a slight delay in starting the operations due to late funding that arrived at the end of May, the most pressing activity started on time with the training of 48 Gambia Red Cross (GRCS) volunteers on data collection, beneficiary registration and relief distributions. During the first distributions 15 local community members also received the training. The IFRC applied the twin track approach of saving lives and protecting livelihoods whilst strengthening communities to recover from disaster and crises. The operation provided simultaneous emergency food assistance as well as building longer term resilience with the provision of improved rice seeds and fertilizer on time for the main planting season from July to October 2012 and off-season vegetal market garden support between November 2012 to January 2013 with the rehabilitation four community vegetable gardens run by women. The vegetable gardens provided the community with healthier nutritional intake and women with income generation with market produce to sell.
The overall objective was reached with 34,668 beneficiaries (5,778 households) that received rice seeds and fertilizer vouchers in the North Bank and Lower River regions in July, on time for planting at the start of the main rain season. However, an additional 8,191 beneficiaries also received this support, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 42,859 because some households were actually much larger than the six person average head count that was estimated per family in Gambia; some beneficiary households included children from religious schools and some beneficiaries that had been accidentally left out or that were absent during the identification process.
To address the emergency health needs, 120 volunteers received training on hygiene promotion and on screening of children under the age of five, as well as pregnant and lactating mothers suffering from malnutrition, using the mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) measurement methodology. A total of 12,537 households were visited and 25,918 children were screened for malnutrition. Suspected malnourished cases were referred to the community health nurses (CHN) and health centres. The affected communities were sensitized on hygiene promotion, and women received training on improved nutritional intake for both malnourished children under 5 and lactating mothers. A total of 26 volunteers community based were trained and attached to 26 health facilities to focus on the malnourished children referred and continued to monitor the children discharged from the health facilities and encouraged the community members to take over the monitoring themselves.
The final phase of the operations concentrated on the recovery period and on longer term impact to support women run community vegetable gardens. Consultation meetings took place with the partners at national level (FAO, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Community Development and at the Department of Water Resource and the Women Bureau) as well as with the regional partners.
In November, a joint need assessment mission took place in nine communities to determine the actual needs of vegetable gardens and select the most qualified communities for the intervention. Out of the nine communities visited four were selected: two communities from the North Bank region (NBR), in the villages of Suwareh Kunda and Gunjur and two in the Lower River region (LRR), in the villages of Sukuta and Barrow Kunda. The selection criteria were based on that of existing community gardens and community participation; the level of vulnerability of the community and the availability and texture of the soil; the management structures and the preparedness capacities of the community members.
Supporting the vegetable gardens has allowed diversifying and increasing the nutritional intake of families and has provided women with an opportunity to earn some income and contribute to their household resilience.
Out of the total revised appeal budget of CHF 1,100,051 and total of CHF 720,436 was received. All the expenditures were spent according to the appeal budget except for over-expenditure of the “international staff” budget line as the total costs of the delegate had been under-estimated. As per the financial report attached, this operation closed with a balance of CHF 5,346. The International Federation seeks approval from its donors to reallocate this balance to the Regional Representation to support the National Societies development plans.