Banjul, Gambia (PANA) - Gambian Vice-President Dr. Isatou Touray disclosed here Wednesday that the country needed predictable increase in funding to develop a sustainable food system that could resist economic paralysis.
Dr Touray, who was speaking at a press conference here, said food aid currently being distributed to vulnerable Gambians to curb food insecurity caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic was about D700 million.
However, she said government was determined to establish a proper coordinated approach to food security issues at all levels to sustain all food systems.
“The Gambia has witnessed a serious threat to nationhood as the COVID-19 keeps in with associated dangers of consuming the most active population and bring all economic activities to a standstill,” she said.
Dr. Touray, who is also the chairperson of the disaster response committee, noted that if the country’s current condition was not checked, it could further deepen poverty as well as the food insecurity situation of the country.
She said that among the damages of coronavirus pandemic in the country were unemployment and joblessness which could expose thousands of Gambian families to hunger and poverty.
“At all times, food and nutritional security are the foundations of decent live. A sound education is the means of achieving the national goals,” she said.
Dr. Touray noted that, as long as Gambians learnt lessons from the food aid brought to curb food insecurity caused by coronavirus now; there was need for the country to have the means to feed its people, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
“We must ensure safety for those who cannot afford food. And support small businesses in this critical time. We must transform our agricultural development process, markets,” he opined.
However, Touray commended the Barrow administration for his generosity to Gambians and non-Gambians alike, saying the food support distribution exercise across the country was either completed or about to reach completion stage.
The country has recorded 25 cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
She has, therefore, called on all and sundry to observe the World Health Organization and the ministry of Health’s advice to avoid further spread of the deadly disease.
.-0- PANA MSS/RA 27May2020