Gambia: Food Insecurity - Emergency Plan of Action operation update (MDRGM010)


A. Situation analysis Description of the disaster

This food security crisis is a regional crisis affecting the Sahel Region. According to the last Regional Harmonized Framework (March 2015) 23,052,000 people were in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed) and 4,749,000 people were in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) with regards to food insecurity. The projected situation for June-August 2015 estimates food insecurity would increase to 26,615,000 people underpressure Stressed (Phase 2) 7,364,000 people in Crisis (Phase 3) and 244,000 in emergency situation (phase 4). In November 2015 the Harmonized Framework also indicated the serious food security in all the regions, but more in CRR and NBR the current intervention regions of 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 20151 , 100,763 identified in phase 3 crisis, required immediate food assistance. This figure was projected to increase to 178,012 people in June 20152 however reports have not yet been published on the outcome of this period.

Humanitarian actors’ in-country, including FAO, WFP, ACF, consider the official figures are underestimated. The alarming nutritional status of children under five3 is due to poverty, poor infant feeding practices, disease burden related to inadequate WASH services, limited knowledge and low awareness of care givers on essential nutritional and hygiene practices is likely to worsen in 2015 due to increasing household food insecurity and depletion of livelihoods. Schools are reporting a decrease in school attendance due to the food security situation.

There is also a negative prevalence of both wasting (acute malnutrition) and stunting (chronic malnutrition) in the region. In 2013, the Gambia Demographic Health Survey (GDHS) estimated that 11.5% were wasted and 4.2% severely wasted. Stunting rates among children under five are similar with estimates in 2013 at 22.4% compared to 24.5% (GDHS). This above malnutrition condition still exists in country and are particularly higher in the two regions that the GRCS is currently operating; that is in Sami district of CRR and Upper Niumi District of NBR.

The Gambia Red Cross participated in a revised Harmonized Framework from October – November 2015 which may lead to an update of the needs. The results have not yet been shared with partners. The food security situation remains dire, as factors continue such as 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. Further needs analysis details on the original need analysis can be referred to in Gambia Food Security Appeal.