The NDMA’s established committee is drawn from different public institutions and development partners to develop a National Strategy Respond on Food Security and Covid-19.
This meeting aims to develop a road map for National Strategy Response to Food Security and Covid-19 effects, establish the response cost for the government for short, medium and long term impacts.
It also ensure the readiness of government preparedness level against the impacts on Covid-19 in all sectors of the country’s economy as well compile all necessary data from all stakeholders for policy informed decision to the office of the Vice President and the chairperson of Disaster Governing Council for policy decision.
Addressing the participants, Sanna Dahaba, executive director for NDMA, said the establishment of this committee at this time was part of the agency’s 2008 Act to ensure stakeholders’ coordination during emergencies and response.
“The task of this committee is to develop a strategy that will help in building resilience and reduce any short, medium and long term effects of the coronavirus hazard in the country,” he said.
The NDMA administrator said this meeting was significant in helping the stakeholders to adopt a methodology in order to design a comprehensive National Response Strategy that will get baseline data from key stakeholders.
“The need for the establishment of such a committee at this critical moment in line with emergency coordination,” he noted.
Representing the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Madam Narissa Seegulam, described the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak as an unprecedented event in modern human history.
“Safeguarding the lives of the people especially the poorest and most vulnerable is the immediate priority of the Government and the United Nations,” she said.
She noted that 48.6 percent of Gambians are living below the poverty line, adding a large number of the population is still vulnerable to shocks and a crisis like Covid-19 which she means will move most of the vulnerable populations back into poverty while increasing vulnerability for others.
The novel coronavirus therefore draws undivided attention to the possibility of shortage of food among other pressing economic, social and environmental concerns,” she said.
On this note, she said the UN team in The Gambia was working to support the Government’s preparedness plan, by establishing a response plan and structure that is aligned with the National Covid-19 response plan.
Dawda Lamin Ceesay, permanent secretary at the Office of the Vice President called for a well-coordinated system at this point in order to mitigate and build resilience through the development of a National Response Strategy that will be looking at four key areas namely; health response, food security, socio economic impact.