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Gambia: Population Movement DREF Operation No. MDRGM001 Final Report

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Situation Report
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The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

Summary: CHF 45,001 (USD 38,439 or EUR 30,344 was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 15 September, 2006 to support Gambia Red Cross society in delivering assistance to some 5,600 people displaced and hosted by local populations of Gifanga and Kusumai villages in The Gambia or to replenish disaster preparedness stocks distributed to the affected population.

The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) assisted 552 displaced households in The Gambia. The operation was well implemented in line with the Federation global agenda, through a good partnership with private and local stakeholders. Health promotion was one component of the implemented activities. The local Red Cross Branch had its capacity strengthened through its 120 volunteers involved in the operation.

The situation

Fighting in Casamance (southern region of Senegal) in 2006 has caused population movement. Thousands of people fled into The Gambia to find refuge. More than 5,600 people have crossed over The Gambia and have been welcomed and hosted by the local populations of Gifanga and Kusumai villages. While some of the refugees made their way to Banjul, the capital city, the households who have hosted many of the new arrivals could no longer cope with more people. As a result, the local authorities had to open one school and some training centres to house the newcomers. With the ongoing rainy season, there were some sanitation concerns besides that of food, as the local population did not have enough resources to share with their guests. Although some of the refugees arrived with some food, it was not enough to sustain them for long time.

During the general elections of September 2006, the Gambian's borders were closed; hence no movement across was possible for a while, preventing displaced people to return to their plantations. As a result, efforts were made by Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) to coordinate the relief assistance to the affected communities.