The governor of the Central River Region (CRR), Ousman Bah, has appealled to the World Bank and the government of The Gambia to expand the Social Safety Net Project (SSNP) funding in order to eradicate poverty in the country.
The SSNP is a social protection piloted in the 20 poorest districts across the country. The World Bank supported with US$30 million while The Gambia government contributed US$1 million for its implementation which is spearheaded by the National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) and its supporting partners.
Speaking at Brikama Ba in an interview, Governor Bah stated that the project is good and has gone a long way in improving the lives and livelihoods of the people. He added that the beneficiaries are not only given money but as well engaged in good practices and changing their behaviour through Social and Behavioral Change Communication (SBCC).
"What we have seen is impressive because some households have started utilising the funds by expanding their economic gains. Some are engaged in poultry, small ruminants, gardening and more. They also used the money to buy food items in order to get nutritious food," he said.
Mrs Cordu L. Jabang-Senghore, permanent secretary at the Office of the Vice President, explained that social protection is fundamental in the lives of citizens while affirming that the project ensures that vulnerable groups within society are not left behind. She said beneficiaries are women and for a very long time, women were left out of the development aspiration of their countries.
"The government of The Gambia has seen it as a priority that not only the extremely poor are included but also the marginalised groups within society. The social safety net is fundamental in all development agendas around the world. We are thankful to the donors and register our appreciation for the government's continued support."
She concluded by thanking the governors and NaNA who she said have been very instrumental in the implementation of the project while assuring them of her office's support.
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