U.S., UNICEF join forces against Covid-19 in Gambia

Nov 23, 2021, 12:00 PM

Banjul — The U.S. Government’s Agency for International Development (USAID) provided $2 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) to support Gambian government’s efforts against COVID-19.

This funding will be used to prevent and treat the deadly disease.

The funds will allow for the training of about 2,000 people, such as religious leaders, youth, and community-based organization members, on how to disseminate accurate information about COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine. UNICEF will also work with mass media outlets, mobile phone operators, and on social media to further disseminate these messages, combatting the widespread and deadly disinformation prevalent in the country.

The funds will also supplement The Gambia’s own efforts to reach its target vaccination rate of 60% among eligible adults.  An estimated 76 COVID-19 care facilities, 50 schools, 80 public spaces in high-risk communities, and 10 isolation/treatment centers will receive COVID-19 treatment and prevention supplies.

"This is a valuable contribution to the national COVID-19 response," said Mr. Gordon Jonathan Lewis, UNICEF Country Representative for the Gambia. U.S. Ambassador to The Gambia, Mr. Richard Carl Paschall noted that “this is the latest contribution from the American people to Gambian-led efforts to battle COVID 19– from hundreds of thousands of donated vaccine doses to U.S. funding and support of UNICEF’s work with the Ministry of Health, and other efforts,the United States stands firmly with our Gambian partners in this effort.”

In the early days of the pandemic, USAID provided over $300,000 in support to the Gambian Government and local NGOs to communicate COVID-19 prevention, management, and response messages to counter misinformation and enhance transparency.