WFP The Gambia Country Brief, March 2020

Situation Report
Originally published
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In Numbers

431.32 mt of food assistance distributed

US$79,383.3 cash-based transfers made

US$ 3.05 m six months (March-August 2020) net funding requirement

115,375 people assisted in March 2020

Operational Updates

• To date, The Gambia has recorded four confirmed cases of COVID-19 and one death. In a bid to contain the spread of the virus, the country has closed its airspace and land borders effective 23 March 2020 for a period of 21 days.

• To support preparedness efforts, The Gambia received a donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) kits and medical supplies donated by the Jack Ma Foundation, directed through the African Union Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDC) in collaboration with WHO, WFP and Ethiopian Airlines, each leveraging their comparative advantages to ensure that the consignment is delivered to all 54 member States. On 28 March 2020, The Gambia received a large consignment comprising 20,000 test kits, 100,000 face masks, 740 sets of protective clothing and 1,000 protective shields arrived at Banjul International Airport on Ethiopian Airlines. The WFP Representative and Country Director, Ms. Wanja Kaaria expressed gratitude to the Jack Ma Foundation and recognized their commitment in support to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• On 23 March 2020, WFP Gambia commenced its Business Continuity simulation exercise. The primary objective of the exercise is to ensure that the WFP country office continues to provide uninterrupted support to critical programmes, beneficiaries and partners while ensuring staff health and safety.

• The Gambia Government announced the closure of all schools (including religious schools) for a period of 21 days starting 18 March 2020. The country office school feeding unit has continued to work closely with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to share the various interventions that WFP will be undertaking, including communications support, and possible takehome-ration to children. This will be achieved through various communication mediums including posters, radio and TV to sensitize communities on hygienic practices and adhering to WHO guidelines. WFP will be providing support in this communication outreach.