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WFP To Provide Food Assistance To15, 000 Flood Victims

Oct 23, 2009, 1:16 PM

Responding to a request from the Office of the Vice-President for possible assistance to victims of the floods caused by heavy rains throughout The Gambia, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), with the support of the National Disaster Management Agency, the Office of the Vice-President has launched an Immediate Response Emergency Operation (TR EMOP 200083), which will provide support to approximately 15,000 affected people, amounting to $450,000.

?The scope of this emergency calls for a large-scale and rapid response on the part of the entire humanitarian community in The Gambia. WFP assistance is a component of the UN immediate response.? said WFP Country Director, Malcolm Duthie.

In recent months, torrential rains throughout The Gambia have caused extensive flooding and damages which, according to assessment reports obtained from the Regional Disaster Management Committees, resulted in 9 deaths and 5,000 displaced people.

Most of the displaced have sought refuge in neighboring houses, relatives, friends, schools and community centres.

 Based on the reports of assessments conducted by the WFP and other partners, it was realised that those affected are living in overcrowded conditions, with poor sanitation facilities. The majority of those affected are women and children under the age of 5.

The floods have destroyed private property and public infrastructure, as well as livestock and food stock.

Those affected fall within the most vulnerable in The Gambia, and the losses encountered highly impacts on their source of food, for the next few months. To save lives and contribute to good health and nutrition of those affected, WFP will be providing food assistance for the 15,000 affected people for a month and an additional two months for the displaced families, as part of a coordinated UN response programme.

According to Country Director, Malcolm Duthie ?WFP will do its utmost to ensure that food reaches those who most need it as quickly as possible, and will do so as part of a coordinated effort with all of our partners. While the government remains in the forefront, it is also important to work with the grass-root structures in responding to this emergency?.

WFP?s efforts will complement the assistance already being provided by the government of The Gambia and other development partners. WFP will work with the government and other partners to put in place more sustainable mid-to-long-term responses.