Covid-19 epidemic: Citizens Alliance launches crisis relief fund

Apr 24, 2020, 10:56 AM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

Citizens’ Alliance Party (CAP), a new party established a year ago, has embarked on an ambitious project designed to mitigate the impacts of covid-19 on vulnerable communities with the launch of its Crisis Relief Fund (CRF).

The Crisis Relief Fund, according to party officials, is for all Gambians and that it’s an embedded relief plan to support the most vulnerable groups of our society.

Constituting two components over two phases, the first phase will focus on helping poor families cope with the economic effects of the pandemic through cash supports. The second component will focus on recovery, which is helping small business to start again after the disruption.

The coordinator of the CRF, Dr. Ismaila Ceesay speaking yesterday at a press confab maintained that Citizens’ Alliance will disburse two hundred thousand dalasis (D200,000) to support needy families in 28 communities, most of whom would be women.

The straightforward political commentator recalled that since its inception a year ago, CA is committed to prioritising rural citizens, social cohesion, civil liberties, social justice, thereby promoting good governance for the people and by the people.

“CA giving cash instead of commodities is an affirmation of our strong beliefs in nurturing a dignified citizenry while allowing them to take control of their lives, make their own choices. We will respect the dignity and privacy of recipients,” he stated.

Dr Ceesay acknowledged that “we are in the middle of a world crisis” that requires leadership, solidarity and compassion.

To that end, he thanked and joined the government of The Gambia and the International community in rallying call to mitigate the on-going covid-19 pandemic and its ramifications.

“The novel coronavirus pandemic sweeping across borders and affecting nearly every country, poses an unprecedented national and global challenge. The global spread of this disease and its arrival on our shores has brought us to unchartered territory with implications for the way we live, work and do business.”

To help contain the virus, he went on, the government of The Gambia introduced measures as part of its overall covid-19 containment strategy to address the health challenges of the pandemic, reduce levels of infection rates and help flatten the curve.

“We commend this move. However, we believe that the measures taken were not informed by comprehensive assessment of our local realities. Rather there is a sense that they were based on knee-jerk reactions that drew inspiration from other countries, despite our different peculiarities. We believe that every country must assess their own situation to help them come up with measures that suit their local and unique contexts.”

Dominic Mendy, interim chairman of CA said The Gambia like all nations and humanity are at war.

“The covid-19 pandemic is the Third World War. The enemy is not human but the enemy is real and it’s not readily visible to the eye.”

“Even the most developed countries of the world are paddling this war and they are struggling to survive the intensity of the battle. The Gambia has experienced only one death but Gambians have tested positive for covid-19 and they are equally important to CA,” he added.