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10/21/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/21/2021 09:20

WFP Gambia thanks Japan for support to nutrition assistance to the most vulnerable in The Gambia

BANJUL -The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomes a US$1.5 million (JPY 164 million) contribution from the Government of Japan to provide much-needed nutrition assistance to vulnerable people in The Gambia, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Thank You ceremony was held today to mark the contribution from Japan which has enabled WFP to continue its nutrition interventions in line with its Country Strategic Plan (2019-2021), to assist 40,000 vulnerable and malnourished people including children below the age of 5, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and mothers living with HIV. The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Health, the Executive Director of the National Nutrition Agency and the Japanese Ambassador.

The latest projection of the Cadre Harmonisé food security analysis exercise estimated about 600,000 people (30 percent of population) are food insecure out of which- 114,000 in particular are severely food insecure during the 2021 lean season. One of main causes of this food and nutrition security situation is estimated to be the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We are extremely grateful for Japan's generous contribution which has enabled us to resume our support" said WFP Representative in The Gambia, Mr. Yasuhiro Tsumura. "The generous support from Japan came at a critical time as the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to seasonal climate shocks such as flash floods and windstorms particularly affected vulnerable people during this year's lean season."

With this contribution, WFP is able provide support to 40,000 people including 7,800 Children under 5 who receive supplementary feeding to prevent malnutrition. About 5,300 pregnant or breastfeeding women and girls are also supported with fortified blended foods to help treat moderate acute malnutrition as well as about 600 mothers living with HIV. Additionally, the intervention will increase the knowledge and skills of caregivers of children under five years, pregnant and lactating women and girls including family heads and community leaders in nutrition and best care practices.

Mr. Tatsuo Arai, Ambassador of Japan commended the good collaboration between WFP and the Government of The Gambia in drawing and implementing this important project which is relating to Human Security in this critical time of the Covid-19 pandemic He also looked forward to the active participation of The Gambia in the upcoming Tokyo International Conference for African Development, next year and the Nutrition-for-Growth Summit to be held in December 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

WFP's comprehensive response in The Gambia seeks to provide emergency assistance to disaster-affected people and provide nutrition support to malnourished children and women, as well as life changing support including school feeding and resilience building and community/national capacity strengthening. WFP needs US$ 3.4 million in the next 6-months for its operations in The Gambia.

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. We are the world's largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

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