By Aisha Tamba
Various stakeholders Wednesday convened a workshop to validate the emergency community development project (PUDC) which aims to reduce poverty in the country.
The emergency community development project workshop was facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The PUDC project is a regional Bureau For Africa flagship project which aims to reduce poverty and growing inequalities between regions by providing rural communities with basic socioeconomic infrastructure.
According to Ms Aissata De, UNDP Country Rep, the PUDCU model provides a vehicle for large -scale, multi-sectoral approach to addressing poverty and inequality at community level, and can help the government to respond to social demands through a partnership with a delivery agency that helps to ensure accelerated, multi-pronged, participatory, and accountable delivery of service, particularly to hard -to- reach populations.
The model aligns with international development norms of aiming to keep people out of poverty through a multi- dimensional approach.
Officials say it will help on unleashing further opportunities to strengthen national capacities, promote South-south cooperation and more importantly, improve the conditions of people, particularly women and girls in poor communities. The Gambia has not had a strong record of government cost-sharing but with the entry of the new government, faced with capacity challenges, this initiative provides an opportunity to move into this arena.
De expected that the selected areas recommended by the study for the initial implementation of the PUDC are feeder roads, electrification agriculture and livestock and water.
“These sectors have been suggested because they form the basis of further socio-economic development in the community, which has been validated with poverty data and community visits.
“Furthermore, the study also recommends ensuring the sustainability of the investments through working to build the capacity of grassroots communities and civil society groups within the context of decentralization to which more effective management of the assets”, she added.
Alhagie Nyangado, director general, department of strategic policy and delivery Office of the President, said the government of the Gambia acknowledged the project and is working very hard to make development more inclusive.
“The rural areas account for 42.2% of the country’s population but they hold over 60% of poverty. In addition to key indicators related to access to health and education, basic services, also this urban-rural divide,” he said.
Buah Saidy, permanent secretary Ministry of Finance, expressed gratitude to the UNDP for championing the PUBC flagship project in the support the development of rural communities in the country.