The European Union and The Gambia’s government on Thursday signed new cooperations amounting to €75 million (D3.6 billion) to address food security, climate change, agriculture, rural development and job creation concerns.
At least €10.5 million seeks to build infrastructure to build feeder roads to help women and connect them and their children to schools and hospitals.
€20.5 million will be invested into creating jobs for women and youths, €11.5 aims at improving food security and treatment of acute malnutrition and prevention of undernutrition and €21.5 aims to address climate change, support civil society, democracy and human rights.
European Union Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica announced that €11 million from the EU Trust Fund will be used by the Gambia’s government to address the migration crisis by increasing opportunity for youths.
The European Union had withheld more than €33 million in aid to the Gambia over deteriorating rights concerns. Former President Yahya Jammeh frequently committed serious human rights violations including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, and torture against those who voiced opposition to the government.
Jammeh was defeated in the polls in December and was forced into exile, ending a political turmoil sparked by his refusal to cede power.
Commissioner Mimica and President Adama Barrow underscored the need for further cooperation in a New Gambia.
The EU is The Gambia’s main development partner. The partnership has helped deliver important development goals for The Gambia, including for example the paving of nearly 50% of the Gambian road network through projects funded by the European Development Fund. Relations have also flourished in other areas such as trade, fisheries and tourism.