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SDF launches over D337m project to fight poverty

Aug 4, 2010, 1:36 PM | Article By: Alieu O. Jabang

The Social Development Fund on Monday announced a UA8 million grant (equivalent to D337, 272, 000) for a project, geared towards supporting enterpreneurship and micro-finance development, as well as other related outreach and capacity-building activities, aimed at poverty reduction in The Gambia.

The grant from the African Development Bank (ADB) to The Gambia government is for a five-year project with a countrywide coverage.

The objective of the project is to support the diversification of rural income-generation sources. It seeks to provide increased access to financial institutions for the rural population, and to ensure increased access by micro, small and medium entrepreneurs, to micro finance services in a sustainable way.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, held in Basse, the Governor of the Upper River Region, Omar Khan, said the purpose of the grant is to finance 100% of foreign costs and 1% of local costs.

According to him, the project will support the rural women, men and youth in entrepreneurship and skills training to become economically empowered, and contribute to their household poverty reduction.

He said the project would target the most vulnerable and poorest segment of the population, with special focus on the rural population.

Lamin Fofana, the Financial Controller of SDF said the regional launching, among others, seeks to disseminate key messages about the Entrepreneurship Promotion and Micro Finance Project (EPMODP)  in terms of its background, key result areas, and expected outputs.

All these, he said, "will help us to meet the Millennium Development Goals and Vision 2020 aspirations."

"It is, therefore, my fervent hope that you will take the opportunities provided by today's launching to keep yourselves abreast with the policies, operational procedures and opportunities provided by the EPMODP for effecting positive improvements in our livelihood," he stated.

Lamin Camara, the Principal Economist at the Ministry of Finance, described the launch as historic as it will help meet the PRSP II, Millennium Development Goals and the Vision 2020 aspirations in reducing poverty.

This, Dampha noted, will help the country to become an industrialised nation with a high source of employment.