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FAO, UNICEF, WFP working with The EU, Gambia Gov`t to accelerate the fight against food and nutrition insecurity

The Gambian Government in close partnership with three UN agencies committed to ending hunger and malnutrition are set to launch a project aimed at improving food security and reducing stunting among children in North Bank, Lower, Central and Upper River Regions. The US$11.4m project is funded by the European Union (EU). Honourable Minister of Women’s Affairs and Overseer of the Office of the Vice President Her Excellency Aja Fatoumatta Jallow-Tambajang is expected to preside over the project launch at the Kairaba Beach Hotel on 8 June, 2017.

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and The United National Children’s Fund (UNICEF), will implement the project jointly, in close partnership with the Department of Agriculture (and its specialized units), the National Nutrition Agency, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the National Disaster Management Agency, , The Gambia Red Cross Society, Farmer Based Organizations and the Women's Health, Productivity and the Environment NGO (BAFROW).  

Entitled ‘‘Post-Crisis Response to Food and Nutrition insecurity in The Gambia’’, the 30-month interventionseeks to contribute to household food security and poverty reduction by strengthening farmer capacity to sustainably improve agricultural production and productivity, increase the employment and income of vulnerable households through cash for work, support the treatment of moderately and severely acute malnourished children and prevents malnutrition by increasing vulnerable children’s access to specialized nutritious foods. In this regard, it will provide a total of 2, 933 metric tons of specialized nutritious foods to beneficiaries as well as improve farmers` capacity to prepare for, withstand and recover from climatic and other shocks. A final component of the project, Social Behavioural Change Communication on health and nutrition, will raise awareness, build knowledge and skills as well as induce behavioural change to improve nutrition in targeted communities and households.

Background

Improving nutrition of the population remains a key priority of the Government of the Gambia and its development partners. The Gambia Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2013 showed that nearly one in four children under five were stunted. Data from the recently finalized national nutrition survey in The Gambia also suggests that both chronic and acute malnutrition rates are on the increase. The project target communities that have stunting rates above the national average according to the Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) Survey, 2015 and supports health centres that are managing the treatment of acute malnutrition. The interventions proposed in the project  recognize that an effective response to improving nutrition must be multi-faceted, addressing aspects that include the improvement of people’s dietary habits, reducing poverty levels, food insecurity, improving sanitation and hygiene, reducing  disease burden and illegal and internal (rural urban) migration.

 

What: Launching of the project ‘‘Post-Crisis Response to Food and Nutrition Insecurity in The Gambia’’

Who: Senior Government, EU and UN Officials, representatives of development partners and farmer organizations are expected to grace the event.

When: 8 June 2017

Where: Kairaba Beach Hotel

 

Expected Media Products:

Press Release, multi-media reportage, online articles, audio and video of interviews with the experts/ government officials.