The United States Embassy in Banjul on September 19 signed grants with two local NGOs to implement the Mission’s Julia Taft Refugee Program in The Gambia. The grants, totaling $25,000, were signed at the American Corner during ceremonies presided over by Chargé d’Affaires Marc Shaw.
Gambia Food and Nutrition Association (GAFNA) will identify and train 110 Peace and Reconciliation Facilitators in 11 refugee host clusters, whilst the second grant recipient, Eastern Foni & Ding Ding Bantaba Federation, will provide medicine to four community clinics in the Fonis.
“In late 2016 and early 2017, approximately 46,000 Gambians took refuge in neighboring Senegal, Guinea, and Guinea Bissau during the uncertainty surrounding the 2016 presidential election results. Fortunately, a peaceful transition occurred; however, the returnee population had to be reintegrated into their communities. Many needed medical and/or psychological assistance after suffering from malnutrition and other ailments,” Chargé d’Affaires Marc Shaw remarked,
For the past 14 years, the American Embassy has supported refugee settlement programs in The Gambia through the Julia Taft Refugee Fund. In the past, funding from this organization has supported individuals and families fleeing the conflict in the Southern Senegal region of the Casamance. The grant provided these families instruction in planting vegetable gardens, conducting seminars and skills training, providing medicine and heath care supplies to at-risk individuals, and rehabilitating nursery schools in vulnerable communities.