With a population of 1.9 million, the Republic of The Gambia is faced with rising food insecurity, poverty and malnutrition, despite a promising environment for improved growth, stability and partnerships.
Progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 is limited, given the high level of vulnerability to food insecurity coupled with the high prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) in children aged 6-59 months and stunting rates above the national average, with a high of 24.9 percent in four districts. Forty-eight percent of the population lives below the national poverty line, 8 percent is food insecure.
According to the 2015 Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) survey, the prevalence of GAM increased to 10.3 percent, up from 9.9 percent in the 2012 survey. WFP has been present in Gambia since 1970.
- On 9 May, WFP participated in the Europe Day fair. An information stand showcased WFP-EU partnership with particular focus on cash-based transfers in school meals to raise public awareness. Schoolchildren also took the stage and dramatized the cash transfer model and how it has increased community participation and ownership. Several EU partners including UNICEF and FAO participated. The event was covered by local and international media.
- In partnership with the EU Delegation, the Gambia Government organized an international donor conference in Brussels to mobilize resources for the country’s development plan (2017-2021). WFP was invited to participate as a partner supporting the government meet its development priorities. WFP took the opportunity to update donors (ECHO and DEVCO) on the Country Strategic Plan (2019-2021).
- An active screening and registration of all children aged 6-59 months in four regions of The Gambia (Lower River, North Bank, Upper River and Central River Region) was conducted from 6 May to 2 June 2018 for malnutrition. During the process, 67,329 children were screened from 1,516 communities. The exercise was conducted in collaboration with UNICEF, and coordinated by the National Nutrition Agency, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and Gambia Red Cross Society. Community Health Nurses from the regions conducted the exercise using computer tablets to collect data on each child, increasing data reliability and reducing processing time.
- The treatment for moderately acute malnourished children continues with 3,235 children receiving Plumpy’Sup as supplementary feeding during the month of May.