Gambia For All urges transparency on covid-19 funds

May 7, 2020, 11:41 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

Gambia For All (GFA) party in a press release yesterday underlined that it expects more transparency from government and continues to express the need for transparency and accountability in the use of funds for covid-19.

The party points out that it’s imperative the government engages religious and traditional leaders, political parties, trade unions, private sector and civil society to promote wider understanding of, and support for the Response Plan for covid-19.

“This will ensure a wider mobilisation of the community effort. These segments of society include in their midst, important opinion leaders who can effectively articulate the needs of their communities as well as advise on actions likely to prove most beneficial.”

The party also argued that the source of D500 million initially provided to fight the pandemic was not explained from the onset, leading to much speculation which is not healthy in a situation where the state badly needs the confidence of the public.

“Again, the public legitimately wants to know the source of the D734 million announced for funding Covid-19 Food Aid programme.”

Welcoming the government’s decision to provide support to households, the party agreed that if handled properly, it would bring much needed relief to the communities.

“But our situation remains extremely difficult and pre-occupying; we are still not yet out of the woods. To say so is to admit reality, and not to seek to cause undue alarm. The nature of the beast is such that we need to maintain our sights on the medium to the long term for coming out of the tunnel. Experiences around us, and elsewhere in the world, should edify us.”

In handling the crisis, the party urges the government to associate other active national forces, such as civil society and political parties, through the institution of a steering mechanism with extensive oversight responsibilities.

“Gambia for All lost no time in expressing support for the prevention and containment measures announced by the public authorities, while we called on the Government to urgently review the national budget with a view to redefining priorities and freeing up state resources ahead of any help expected from the general public, as well as from abroad.”