Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MFEA) yesterday signed a Memorandum
of Understanding (MOU) with the World Bank on Social Safety Net project worth
$30 million. It is designed to boost food security, health and education.
The signing ceremony was held at the Ministry of Finance with representatives from both the ministry and the World Bank.
Speaking at the occasion, the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mod A.K. Sacka, explained that the objective of the project was to improve the coordination of social assistance activities and increase inclusion of the extremely poor in The Gambia.
He added that the social protection secretariat will be housed at the Office of the Vice President, which will provide strategic oversight and policy coordination for the project.
“The project will target 20 districts of extremely poor households within the communities. The project will also support for the establishment of the social registry. It will provide data on key household characteristics to facilitate common assessment and eligibility determination for social assistance programmes.”
He stated that it will further provide a platform for improved coordination among programmes, adding that the implementation partners are the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA), Department of Community Development (DCD) and Department of Social Welfare (DSW).
Elene Imnadze, the World Bank representative in The Gambia, expressed delight at signing the document in helping The Gambia’s social development. She added that the event marks a significant milestone in the collaboration between World Bank and The Gambia government.
“The project echoed in the national development plan and the social protection policies, as to support government commitment to deliver a system to the poor environment, and to make sure all Gambians can develop and achieve their goals.”
She said the project will focus mostly on the poorest districts in the country, adding that the money will be spent in the medium term – on education, food and health and help children to develop their potentials.