Brazil gives 5,000 tons of rice to Gambia
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Republic of Brazil in partnership with the European Commission Humanitarian
Organization (ECHO) on Wednesday handed over 5,000 metric tones of rice,
through the World Food Programme (WFP), to the government of The Gambia, during
a ceremony held at the WFP’s warehouse in Kanifing.
The rice that will be distributed to 206,000 affected people for a period of three months, formed part of the donating country’s response to the food insecurity situation in the country, created by the 2011 woeful crop failure, in which farmers lost a total crop production of more than 70 percent.
The Brazilian gesture comes on the heels
of similar humanitarian donations by the friends of The Gambia in the wake of
the emergency declaration made by the government of The Gambia through the
Ministry of Agriculture on the March 6th, 2012, with the WFP taking a lead role
in providing and supervising food assistance to the Gambian affected
As an initial intervention, the WFP launched a two-month immediate Response Emergency Operation (IR-EMOP) in April 2012, to provide emergency food assistance to people in the Central River Region, and the most affected districts. The IR-EMOP provided two months of food aid, consisting of rice, vegetable, oil, peas, and iodised salt to a targeted caseload of 60,000 people.
Representing the government at the occasion, the Finance and Economic Affairs minister, Abdou Kolley, who also spoke on behalf of the vice president and chairperson of the Food Security Council, hailed the Federal Republic of Brazil through its ambassador for the response to The Gambia government's appeal of assistance for drought relief.“We are very appreciative that the government of Brazil is providing 5, 000 metric tones towards relief efforts in The Gambia. The arrival of this consignment is very timely and will go a long way in easing the food insecurity situation of many families that are affected by the 2011 crop failure, resulting from the drought,” the Finance minister noted.
He told the gathering that attaining food self-sufficiency and ensuring food security for people is a key objective of the government of The Gambia, which he said is amply reflected in its agricultural and national blueprint: the Gambia National Agricultural Investment Programme (GNAIP). These sectoral and national development plans, according to Kolley, have been well articulated, saying if the right funding is made available for their implementation, they will be making a giant leap in their efforts at poverty reduction and ensuring food security.
He reaffirmed that the government will be certainly looking up to its non-traditional development partners like Brazil for support in realisation of the noble objectives contained in these development plans. He also thanked the European Commission Humanitarian Organization (ECHO) for their partnership with the government of Brazil in ensuring the necessary logistics arangements for the donated rice to reach its destination; and the WFP for their continuous contribution towards the government and the people of The Gambia.
earlier, the European Union charge d' affaires in The Gambia, Agnes Guillaud, said the European Commission
Humanitarian Organization that recently marked its 20th anniversary, was set up
in order to provide quick assistance to people caught up in crisis. She however
noted that this service is funding the provision of food, shelter, water and
other life-saving assistance to nearly 150 million people in around 70
countries, with an overall budget of one billion Euros. ECHO, she added, has been financing
humanitarian actions in the Sahel since 2005, essentially fight against
malnutrition and food insecurity.
In The Gambia, according to the EU Gambia envoy, ECHO has provided much needed fund to accompany the government of Brazil's generous donation. “This rice is being channeled through the World Food Programme, as part of the UN emergency response to the 2011-2012 crop failure,” she added.
the Brazilian ambassador designated to The Gambia, Madam Rosemary Panell, said
the Brazilian government is pleased to help Gambians in their dire times of
hunger, by donating rice targeting 206,000 vulnerable people. This, she
confirmed was done in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme
and the European Union. “Fighting this problem has been a priority for us for
the last years, and we believe that eradicating food insecurity is essential
for a sustainable economic development,” she added.
The WFP country director, Victoria Ginja, for her part, praised the Brazilian government, the ECHO and the EU for their immense contribution to making this noble humanitarian gesture available to The Gambia.
Author: Sheriff Barry