‘Decision to downsize Foreign Service stalled’

Sep 24, 2020, 12:28 PM | Article By: Yunus S. Saliu

President Adama Barrow has disclosed that government’s decision to downsize the Foreign Service through the closure of some diplomatic missions and recall of diplomatic personnel on the basis of executing a Staff Monitored Programme has stalled, as a result of the global lockdown

His Excellency Adama Barrow revealed this last Thursday during his Address for the 2020 Legislative Year at the National Assembly.

He informed the Assembly that the pandemic has adversely impacted the Foreign Service operations of The Gambia while having negative financial implications for government.

Similar to other sectors, he said “part of the funds allocated for programme implementation in the Foreign Service sector was diverted, resulting in the inability to implement some of the programmes that were approved.”

To complicate matters further, he disclosed that development cooperation activities at the international level have been disrupted. “Joint Commissions with bilateral partners and major international conferences scheduled for 2020 have been postponed.”

He added further that agreed programmes with partners and the volume of assistance expected from development partners could not materialise as planned, “in short, funds for development cooperation were diverted to national emergency funds to combat the pandemic.”