By Oumie Mendy
The Gambia Red Cross Society has donated D21 million to 48 communities affected by Casamance crisis in Foñi. The shooting between Senegalese forces and MFDC rebels displaced thousands of people on Foñi border. Though calm has returned in the area, the returning displaced villagers will have to start all over again.
The presentation also sees the distribution of non-food items such as cooking utensils, sanitary materials, mosquito nets among others while the distribution of cash gifts targeted 900 households from affected communities and their hosts, both in the Casamance region of Senegal and The Gambia, with each receiving D5,250.
The director of programme and operation at the Gambia Red Cross Society, Abdoulie Faye, said: “As a humanitarian organization, we have the responsibility to support affected individuals. This is why since the conflict started we have been in Foñi rendering a helping hand to the needy including this cash transfer today.
“There are more than 48 communities benefiting in this cash transfer including those from Senegal and covering 932 households targeting the asylum seekers and the host families,” he said.
Mr Faye said Red Cross has previously supported 300 households which included 275 displaced households and 75 host families for 6 weeks with D7,872.
“Currently, we have disposed more than D6 million and equally provided an ambulance for emergency purposes,” he said.
Also speaking at the presentation, Aminata Bojang, a lactating mother who fled the conflict from Casamance, expressed sorrow over the conflict, saying it is sad that they had to be forced to flee their homes.
“We have left everything behind us, so this presentation will significantly ease our feeding challenges,” she said.
She thanked the donors for the support.
Another beneficiary from Kanilai, Modou Lamin Kujabie, said the crisis has caused his family a lot arguing that he will be returning to the village and start all over again because all his belongings had been destroyed.
“This money will at least for the short term take care of my family’s feeding but I want to call other Gambians especially philanthropists to come to our aid,” he said.
Kujabie said he has about 15 people in his family whose feeding comes directly from him.