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ActionAid stages stakeholders’ forum on food crisis

Mar 27, 2012, 2:28 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

ActionAid International The Gambia (AAITG) last Friday convened a stakeholders’ forum on the emerging food crisis in the country.

It would be recalled that the Government of The Gambia earlier this month appealed to the international community and NGOs to assist in addressing the country’s food crisis.

The AAITG summoned meeting was held at the Association of NGO’s centre (TANGO) to avail stakeholders the opportunity to look at policy measures to advocate for addressing further occurrence of the crisis.

It also gives AAITG the platform to update participants in their own response on the food crisis, share information around some principles to consider during crises.

Speaking at the opening session, the director of TANGO, Ousman Yabo, said the NGO body has decided to contribute in alleviating the problem, as they have been doing, because the government has declared an emergency and asked the international community for support to address the looming food crisis.

The Tango director commended the AAITG for its invaluable contribution to the situation. “This has always been our agenda to bring NGOs to contribute to aliviating the crisis,” he added.

He called for collective responsibility in response to the crisis, noting that they plan to target the larger community as NGOs to talk about the crisis.

While calling for coordination, information sharing and advocacy, Lamin Nyangado, Head of Policy and Campaign, Action Aid, said the reason for convening the event was to share ideas with other stakeholders.

If people live in danger, normal development work is also in danger, he said, adding that when there is an emergency, development goals are set aside.

Mr Nyangado indicated that in their efforts to ensure that people live and their livelihoods are restored, it is important to communicate on daily basis.

 “In such crises, it is our opinion that we observe the situation holistically to know who is doing well and those affected in order to support the need to achieve our goal,” he said, while emphasising the need for communication and coordination in order to facilitate “our constituencies on information”.

The collaboration, he concluded, is not limited to the NGO commitment.

In his presentation, John Abuya, coordinator for emergencies for ActionAid International in Africa and Latin America, dwelled on their 2012 development priority to assist programmes in which The Gambia is among.

Presentations were also made on food crisis, the scope, impact and effect on the lives and livelihoods of people, as well as on women’s right in emergencies, policy implications and identifying policy gaps in The Gambia.