#Headlines

Two-thirds Gambian workers face difficult situations due to covid-19

Apr 24, 2020, 11:40 AM

State House, Banjul, April 23, 2020 – President Adama Barrow has lamented that two-thirds of workers in The Gambia that work in the informal sector and account for 80% of the informal economy are facing a difficult situation due to covid-19 crisis.

Mr. Barrow discussed their situation at the Extra-Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government virtual Summit convened in response to the covid-19 crisis. He expressed concern that the bulk of The Gambian population is currently unable to meet their basic necessities due to this crisis.

 “It is tragic that the vast majority [of workers] have no regular income and, therefore, have neither savings nor any social security buffer in case of loss of wages,” he told colleague leaders yesterday, April 23, 2020.

 The virtual summit, the first of its kind in the history of the sub regional bloc, gave leaders the opportunity to present their specific country situation, share experiences that served as learning points for each of the leaders.

 “Maximum effort will be placed on protecting employment and incomes for enterprises and workers negatively impacted by the indirect effects of covid-19. Financial, industrial and trade policies will be reviewed further,” he told colleagues.

 The Gambian president explained that in revisiting the country’s policies to address the pandemic, health and social protection measures have been given priority. These range from testing and treatment to building human resources base in the health sector and expanding social assistance.

 Fiscal policy measures include deferring filing and payment, reducing social contributions, granting low-interest loans, reprioritising and financing larger fiscal deficit.

On the overall picture, he said The Gambia has been monitoring the outbreak since WHO confirmed and declared it a pandemic. The Gambia recorded the first case on 16 March 2020. Overall, 332 tests have been conducted. As of 21 April, 10 cases have been confirmed within the country with only one death.

 He, however, maintained that the immediate policy response of his government to the current situation is to focus on saving lives, limiting the spread of the virus and managing the crisis.

 In his opening statement, President of Niger who is the chairman of the Authority of Heads of State, Issoufou Mahamadou, said the covid-19 effects on the sub region has a great social dimension such as deepening poverty and inequality, leading to an unprecedented crisis for the member states.

 He added that it unravels new security challenges for many states in the sub region, urging colleague leaders to pray for prompt recovery for the infected members of the population and observe silent prayers for the deceased.

Read Other Articles In Headlines
Fabakary Tombong Jatta v2
APRC admits Barrow talks on frozen assets
Nov 30, 2020, 10:23 AM

The secretary general and leader for Alliance for Patriotic Re-orientation and Construction (APRC) has denied allegations that the party executives have entered a dialogue with National People’s Party (NPP) to form a coalition, arguing that talks were merely based on recovering the party’s frozen bank accounts and vehicles.

Senegalese troops
Army says Senegalese troops mistakenly enter Gambian territory
May 22, 2020, 12:25 PM

The community of Sare Omar village in the Lower River Region (LRR), has informed the Gambian Armed Forces who were deployed at the village that the Senegalese troops claimed they had mistakenly entered Gambian territory while on patrol.

Dawda York
Nianija chief named in alleged bribery scandal 
Oct 14, 2020, 11:11 AM

Dawda York, the chief of Nianija District in the Central River Region (CRR) north has been named in an alleged bribery scandal, The Point investigation has uncovered.

Ismaila Ceesay
Dr. Ceesay says gov’t is trying to silence critics
Jul 3, 2020, 10:57 AM

Top political analyst, Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, has claimed that the current government’s target is to silence its critics.