The World Food Programme (WFP) started food distributions and cash transfers to support recovery of communities affected by a windstorm and flash floods in July. The support will help families meet their immediate food needs and replenish destroyed or lost food stocks.
About 31,000 people (approximately 3,875 households) will receive 50 kg of rice and 1,350 Gambian Dalasis (around USD 26.5) per household per month for three months. This hybrid ration will allow families to access a diversified and balanced diet especially during the prolonged lean season from May-September when traditionally food stocks run low.
“Families who have been affected by the disaster were already reeling from the effects of the pandemic with job losses and rising food prices making it difficult for them to afford a basic meal. The cash transfer will go a long way in ensuring families are able to eat a balanced diet as they recover from multiple crises,” said Yasuhiro Tsumura, WFP Representative and Country Director in The Gambia.
The assistance will prioritize households who were assessed by the National Disaster Management Agency, the Gambia Red Cross Society and WFP, and will be jointly delivered by the three agencies. The assessment covered households affected by the loss of food and shelter, internally displaced families and households with malnourished children, pregnant and nursing women, persons with disability and those headed by women or the elderly.
The assistance comes at a time when the country is witnessing a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. The pandemic has worsened food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable. WFP in partnership with the Government of The Gambia seeks to protect livelihoods and provide a safety net for vulnerable households, allowing for faster rebound from the impacts of the pandemic. All WFP assistance is carried out based on need alone, making no distinctions based on gender, religious belief, or political affiliations.