By Oumie Mendy
Caravan of Mercy, a charity and NGO, last week distributed bags of rice, sugar and vegetable cooking oil to 340 families displaced in Foñi by the conflict in neighbouring Casamance.
The food items were handed over to the families hosting the internally displaced people in Bondali, Sibanor and Bwiam.
Pa Modou Sillah, desk overseas coordinator for Caravan of Mercy in The Gambia, said the donation was meant to ease the pressure on hosts of the displaced families.
“It is gratifying for us to support needy Gambians especially in situations like this. For us, rendering assistance to these people in critical need is a priority especially considering the hike in prices of goods. So I believe this donation will take them a long way in this critical time,” he said.
Mr Sillah expressed gratitude to those who donated the food items through his NGO.
Binta Sey Jadama, the regional disaster coordinator for the West Coast Region, described the donation as very useful and timely.
She said the displaced people include both Gambians and Senegalese nationals who fled the conflict in Casamance.
“All the displaced families came empty handed and their hosts are also mainly poor families who have to share the little they have with them. This is why there is a need for emergency food support and other basic necessities,” she said.
She appealed to other NGOs and partners to come to the aid of the families.
Yusufa Bojang, a beneficiary and native a of Bujinga, expressed gratitude to the donors for the support and assured that the donated items will be put into good use.
“We were not expecting this but I am grateful that there are people who remembered us in this hard time. I have refugees in my home and I have to struggle to feed them along with my family from the firewood and charcoal business I do. In fact, one of them gave birth in my house,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a separate but related development, the Brikama Area Council also donated 650 bags of rice to families in the area.