By Tabora Bojang
The leader of the United Democratic Party on Saturday launched a national food bank programme to support ongoing hunger relief efforts during the Covid-19 crisis in the country.
“In the spirit of Easter, I have just launched a nonpartisan ‘National Food Bank Program’ with my local govt. Mayors and Chairmen. I am asking all businesses and well meaning Gambians to join this great initiative. You cancountry,” Ousainu Darboe announced on Twitter.
He said the programme is non-partisan which will provide emergency food and related support to vulnerable families across the country through the local councils.
Darboe, a former minister and vice president under the Barrow government, said a state of emergency comes with some restrictions which affect the livelihood of a lot of Gambians adding that this is a time that everyone should come on board and support each other as one nation regardless of our political differences.
“This is the period that we certainly must come up and share with the less privileged and the needy. We all know that many families depend on remittances from the diaspora and since there is a lockdown in the diaspora it makes the situation very difficult but we should make sacrifices and share the little we have amongst ourselves,” he added.
Darboe said he did not launch the initiative as a UDP venture but an initiative of a Gambian citizen who cares about the plight of ordinary Gambians.
“I want all of us to come together to donate generously to this initiative.”
Amid reduction in global fuel prices, Darboe called on the government to consider reducing the pump price of fuel to help alleviate hardship.
KMC Mayor Talib Ahmed Bensouda said concerted efforts are necessary to alleviate the effects of Covid-19 which has brought an abrupt economic distress on the lives of the people.
Bensouda called on government to deploy health workers in markets to offer tests to people coming in and out of the markets for signs of Covid-19.