1. A Joint UNHCR/WFP Assessment Mission (JAM) was conducted to re-assess the food security and self reliance situation of Senegalese refugees in The Gambia to determine the need and level of support beyond December 2009 when the current operation providing food assistance to the refugees will come to an end. The assessment took place almost a year after it was recommended by the previous JAM to change the focus of assistance from food support to livelihood support.
2. The specific objectives of this JAM were, inter alia: i) to review the implementation of the food and non-food assistance strategies that have been used since the last JAM; ii) to determine the number of refugees who are currently registered, have returned to Senegal or will remain in The Gambia beyond December 2009; iii) to assess the current food and future food and non-food needs of refugees with a view towards a 'durable solution' by December 2010; and iv) identify possibilities to collaborate with the Government of The Gambia and partners to devise a sustainable phase out strategy.
3. The findings of this JAM are based on an extensive review of secondary data in reports compiled by WFP, UNHCR and other partners as well as information gathered through key informant meetings in Banjul and analysis of data collected in the field. The mission team visited 11 villages in Foni Districts that were randomly selected and conducted focus group discussions and household interviews with both refugees and hosts. A separate focus group discussion was arranged in Fagi-Kunda to better understand the situation of Senegalese refugees living in urban areas. The results from the analysis of field data cannot be extrapolated to the entire refugee population in the absence of a representative sample1. Nonetheless, the findings were conclusive enough to suggest an overall trend that was supported by triangulation with other data sources.