The speaker of the National Assembly has outlined that the combination of rapid economic growth and population rise is accumulating pressure on natural resources, as human activity creates new local risks.

He said the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) coordinates activities that address risk reduction issues and it facilitates various government institutions to reduce risks associated with environment change. According to him, they do that with the help of well thought out strategies, chiefly centering on risk reduction, humanitarian response and adaption.

Hon. Abdoulie Bojang made these remarks on Wednesday at the sensitisation forum on Emergency Food Security Assessment Targeting Criteria organised by NDMA held at the Mahatma Gandhi Auditorium hall in the National Assembly Building Complex, Banjul.

‘‘I am told that NDMA in the recent past has collaborated with WFP on  ‘Cash interventions transfer resources to people by giving them cash unconditionally’’ he said. According to him, cash transfer programming in emergencies is one form of humanitarian response, which can be used to purchase basic needs and/or protect, establish or re-establish livelihoods. He noted that the process that it took to identify, disburse and monitor usage is among the things they expected to discuss.

He emphasised that NDMA pride itself on improving people’s ability to manage the local environment susutainably, the absence of which has been the cause of trouble mankind continues to deal with; in other words, avoidable self-destruct.

Speaker Bojang confirmed that NDMA’s risk reduction activities make an important contribution to the economy, starting with a visible improvement in the wellbeing of people in line with the Program for Accelerated Growth and Employment 2012-2015. “For The Gambia to remain minimally vulnerable to risk, we need to ensure that where possible, the relevant activities are integrated into local development policy, thereby helping the likes of NDMA in their aspirations for betterment”, the speaker of the National Assembly told the participants.

Speaking earlier, Serign Modou Joof, deputy executive director of NDMA, informed that NDMA has the responsibility to coordinate disaster issues, all through resource mobilisation, monitoring and evaluation and relief distribution. ‘‘As by the broad term of the NDMA Act Section 13 (1A), these activities are undertaken at regional level, with excellent coordination from base. In the idea of good performance, the agency develops an annual work plan to guide its opérations,’’ he revealed.

Joof went on to say that when disasters and conflicts affect large numbers of people, it would be necessary to strike a balance between responding to the effects of the disaster and to addressing the underlying causes of vulnerability. In the quest to intervene in such eventualities.

Joof told members that they are being guided by the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartially in the conduct of such exercise working with most vulnerable sectors of a population. These, he added, are usually the ones with the least resilient livelihoods and smallest amounts of assets and resources.

For her part, Vitoria Ginja, the country director of World Food Programme, Gambia noted that adequate food and nutrition security at household, community and national level is central to the socio and economic development of a nation, cognizance to the fact that disasters are becoming more recurrent in the Sahel including The Gambia and cause varing degrees of impact on food and nutrition security.

According to her,  it is paramount that the house is familiar with the tools and strategies in place to reach the most vulnerable. According to her, this forum would focus on ensuring that they collectively interact and share experience through a participatory approach, with the United Nations Agencies present here and the civil society

Madam Ginja added that the objective of this session is to strengthen the existing capacities to further enhance their readiness to respond efficiently to humanitarian needs when an emergency strikes in order to safe lives, livelihoods and property.

He assured them that UN Agencies and the World Food Programme would continue to work with national institutions to strengthen their capacities in ensuring that disasters in The Gambia are mitigated.Hon. Netty Baldeh, NAM for Tumana delivered the vote of thanks.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 16 March 2015 15:13

 
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ANNOUNCEMENT

IDDR 2017

International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction is scheduled the 13th October

Venue: LRR

Theme: "Home Safe Home: Reducing Exposure, Reducing Displacement"

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