The World Bank has given The Gambia $56 million Dollars (D2.2 million Dalasis) to help the West African nation strengthen its fiscal position and restore essential public services.
The $56 million is part of the pledge the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa, Makhtar Diop made for budgetary support.
At least $30.8 million Dollars (D1.23 billion Dalasis) would have to be repaid by the Gambia and remaining 45 percent is considered a grant.
“We believe that to help the government face the huge challenges that could jeopardize the new democratic era, it is vital for all Gambia’s development partners to rapidly deploy technical and financial support,” said World Bank Country Director, Louis Cord.
Gambia’s new government alleged that the former ruler Yahya Jammeh took tens of millions of dollars in public money, leaving the country heavily indebted.
UN called for immediate support for the country and the EU responded by unfreezing €33 million Euros withheld over Jammeh’s deteriorating human rights records.
The Bank last month has partnered with Gambian authorities to recover some $12 million Dollars (D480 million Dalasis) that Jammeh fled with.
Jammeh was defeated in the elections last winter and sparked turmoil when he refused to step aside and hand over to President Adama Barrow.
The impasse affected tourism and that with the poor agricultural season exacerbated the already difficult challenges faced by the impoverished nation.