‘Foni IDPs face severe food insecurity’

May 5, 2022, 12:16 PM | Article By: Ali Jaw

The National Disaster Management Authority's (NDMA) West Coast Regional Coordinator, Binta Sy Jadama, has revealed that the Rapid Assessment Report, which was launched by government immediately after the displacement of people around the Foni after the Cassamance skirmish, has found out that there is severe food insecurity for internally displaced persons (IDPs).

"It could be recalled in March 13th, we used to call it the Foni incident but it is no more called the Foni incident, because the spillover has affected most of the districts especially Kombo East and the Kiangs," she said.

"From March 13, when this particular unfortunate incident unfolded, the government with partners embarked on a Rapid Assessment Report. The Rapid Assessment Report indicates that there was severe food insecurity and a high need for sanitation and hygiene for those population that crossed the border and the IDPs and government called partners to come and support."

"It is no surprise that ChildFund through their affiliated partner, Foni Ding Ding Federation, came up with a support of cash transfers to 20 families; they came up with another support to 160 families of their enrolled families and today we are witnessing the support of 300 families making a total of almost 500 families that are supported under these interventions, and the number of families registered from 13 March to date is 1,800 families," she added.

"Out of 1,800 families, government being the duty bearer, government was able to support 500 families. But through government's intervention and coordination, partners are coming on board and the support is going on smoothly."

"Yet, a detailed assessment was conducted just three weeks back. The detailed assessment clearly states that food security still remains a challenge for the coming three months, because we know that the rainy season is fast approaching. The Foni region is predominantly a farming region; they rely on agriculture."

"So, we don't know the predictions of the rain, whether it will be normal or not abnormal. That is not yet confirmed, but the prediction of the detailed assessment report indicates that food security is still a challenge.

She revealed in addition that the details of the Assessment Report confirms over 67% of all those internally displaced households are headed by females.

"Children forms 35% or 30% of IDPs who have crossed the borders and came within the Gambia. So this is a clear indication that there are families who were skipping their square meals."

"Some will have one meal, skip the two square meals, or the elderly will have one meal per day to leave the remaining to their children. Leaving the remaining for the children is just to satisfy their hunger, but the nutritional aspect is not taken care of."

She thanked the ChildFund and the Foni Ding Ding Federation and other partners for donation of food items, which, she believed, would help address the food insecurity and urged more partners to come onboard to intervene as well.

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