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Sunday, September 27, 2020

Gambia’s poverty rate at 48.4%, misses 2015 target

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During the regional launching of the country’s  MDGs status report in Banjul yesterday, Mrs Juldeh Ceesay, deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs stated: “Using the less than one dollar per person as a discriminant, poverty dropped from 58 percent in 2003 to 36.7 percent in 2010. In comparison, using the less than 1.25 dollar per person per day threshold, poverty decreased to 48.4 percent in 2010. It is worth noting that although poverty continues to be a rural phenomenon in The Gambia with 73.9 percent of the rural population compared to 32.7 percent of the urban population living on less than 1.25 dollar per person per day. In 2013, results of the Demographics and Health Survey show a slight drop in the proportion of children who are underweight to 16.2 percent with huge disparity by region and by place of residence. The proportion of children underweight was highest in the two poorest regions of the country, Kuntaur and Janjangbureh with 25.6 and 26.9 percents respectively.”

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Mrs Ceesay said government has pledged support and encouragement to Gambian youth and women to engage in farming as a lead-up to attain food self-sufficiency and reduce hunger. She stated that collaboration from partners especially the United Nations system in the country have paid huge dividends in helping the country meet its Millennium Development Goals. 

“Significant strides have been made in order to deepen the country’s absorptive and responsive capacities for meaningful growth and socio-economic advancement. Notably, these include strengthening our planning and coordination in accordance with the MDGs. Our poverty reduction strategies all trigger the country to meet the MDGs by 2015. We also have to work on our Social Development Goals beyond 2015 because overall, The Gambia stands a strong chance to meet MDGs 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 but 1 and 5 are yet to be met and we are likely to miss the 2015 target. However, the country is among the best performing countries that have registered progress to achieve the Millenium Development Goals by 2015. This is why it has been selected among eight countries in the world to make a National Voluntary Presentation at the Economic and Social Council annual ministerial meeting held at the UN headquarters in New York on 7 July 2014.  

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