Gambia: Food Insecurity - Emergency Plan of Action Final Report (MDRGM010)


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

The Food Security crisis 2014-2015, was a regional crisis affecting the Sahel countries including the Gambia. In the Gambia, in November 2015, the Harmonized Framework indicated the serious food security in all the regions, but more in Central River Region (CRR) and North Bank Region (NBR) as a result of this the Gambia Red Cross identified these 2 regions for both the appeal and the ECHO project. In the Gambia 60% of the assessed population remain food insecure, of which 30 per cent are considered moderately' or `severely' food insecure. In March 2015, 1,100,763 were identified in phase 3 crisis, required immediate food assistance. This figure was projected to increase to 178,012 people in June 2015.

However, the humanitarian actors’ in-country, including FAO, WFP, ACF, and Ministry of Agriculture consider the official figures are underestimated. The alarming nutritional status of children under 5 years was due to poverty, poor infant feeding practices, disease burden related to inadequate WASH services, limited knowledge and low awareness of care givers with regards to essential nutritional and hygiene practices were drivers to the worsened condition of people in 2015, with increasing household food insecurity and depletion of livelihoods.

The Gambia Red Cross partook revised Harmonized Framework from October – November 2015, the results indicated serious food insecurity situation. The food security situation remains, as factors with drivers that were making the situation more difficult for farmers to improved food security, such drivers includes, increase in commodity prices, decrease in exchange rate, limited access to basic social services, and the near total absence of relief support to the affected population.

According to the 2015 Harmonized Framework for the Gambia, the burden of Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) among children under 5 years has been estimated at 56,839, while Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) has been at 10,217 children between 6-59 months based on the 2013, national population census projections and SMART 2012. The prevalence of malnourished pregnant and lactating women in the reproductive age group (15-49) has been estimated at 45,944.

Malnutrition was identified as a serious issue affecting the regions. The most recent Gambia National Nutrition Surveillance report produced by NaNA in September 2014, reiterated and confirmed 3 regions (Centre River Region, Lower River Region and North Bank Region) as those with the highest prevalence of malnutrition (acute and moderate) - 2 of which North Bank and Central River Regions were targeted in this intervention. Indeed, these t2 regions registered severe acute malnutrition rates that are above the WHO 'serious' threshold at 13.1% in targeted regions.