WFP launches Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programme in The Gambia

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At Besse in the Foni Berefet District, West Coast Region, WFP and partners launched the first Supplementary Feeding Programme to prevent acute malnutrition in children under the age of five.

BANJUL – WFP and partners launched for the first time a Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programme for 25,000 children between 5 and 59 months in The Gambia. This activity is in addition to the general food distributions planned for 206,000 people in response to the Sahel food crisis.

The distribution of super cereal, a corn soya blend, and oil fortified with vitamin A and D is to be carried out in 46 sites located in the 14 most affected districts to prevent malnourishment in children under five during the lean season.

“On behalf of the people of Western Region, I want to thank WFP for providing our children with additional food to ensure that they continue to grow and develop during these difficult months,” said Mama Sireh Badjie, mother of a beneficiary child and a member of the food management committee at the Besse distribution site.

“WFP has become a household name in The Gambia because of the efficient lead role played in coordinating the humanitarian emergency response to save lives and protect livelihoods during the food crisis,” said Governor Lamin Sanneh.

Present at the launch were the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, the Governor of the Western Region, the Chief of Foni Berefet, the Executive Director of the National Nutrition Agency, the Director of the Regional Health Team, the Head of the Regional Disaster Management Committee for Western Region, the UNICEF Country Representative and the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.

“It is WFP’s intention to continue to strengthen its partnerships with other key stakeholders in addressing the underlying causes of malnutrition,” said WFP Country Director Vitoria Ginja.

In her statement Fatim Badjie, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, thanked the United Nations agencies for their support and urged farmers to continue to work hard on their farms.

“A lot of effort was put into your farms last year but erratic rain falls weakened yields,” said Fatim Badjie. “Extra effort must be put in this year so as to improve the situation.”