The European Union is preparing a second aid package of €150 million (D7.1 billion) for The Gambia, which will be made available for medium and longer-term actions in the West African country.
The aid package seeks to immediately address concerns in agriculture, economic growth and food security and transport exit strategy.
A technical mission from the EU is visiting Banjul to identify and discuss areas of mutual interest, said Neven Mimica, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development.
The €150 million was decided to start with an initial envelope of €33 million for 2015-2016 to support the development priorities of The Gambia but was withheld over human rights concerns.
Former President Yahya Jammeh’s administration frequently committed serious human rights violations including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, extrajudicial execution and torture against those who voiced opposition to the government.
Jammeh was defeated in the December elections by businessman Adama Barrow.
With the new government in place, the key priorities of the EU in terms of development cooperation include rapidly supporting stability and reconstruction of the Gambian State.
Mimica on Thursday signed an aid cooperation of €75 million (D3.6 billion) with Gambia’s Foreign Minister Ousainou Darboe.
The EU-Gambia 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.