The European Union on Tuesday disbursed $31.25 million (D1.25 billion dalasis) to the Government of The Gambia to help stabilize the national budget, and contribute to the balance of payments.
EU aims to support political reforms, promote a sound public financial management, mobilizing domestic resources and fighting corruption in the West African nation.
“Today’s disbursement is an important step forward for the EU’s development partnership with the Gambian Government. We remain committed to supporting Gambians in their democratic transition,” said Carla Montesi, Director for West and Central Africa at the European Commission.
The EU is also looking forward to strengthening its relations with The Gambia in the fields of migration and economic development and in particular support to youth employment.
Thousands of Gambian youths have been journeying across the Sahara and the Mediterranean to reach Europe, a crisis that the EU seeks to bring to an end.
It has disbursed at least $14 million to The Gambia to help create jobs for its youths and pledge an additional $37 million to help revive The Gambia’s economy and keep its youths at home.
In February, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, expressed the European Union’s willingness to partner with The Gambia on its path towards democracy.
Mimica signed an immediate package of some $93.75 million (D3.75 billion dalasis) and announced a subsequent one of about $187.5 million (D7.5 billion dalasis) before the end of 2017.
Gambia mended its relations with the EU after the ouster of ex-autocratic ruler Yahya Jammeh. The coming of President Adama Barrow to power saw the release of millions of dollars in aid frozen over human rights concerns.
(Reporting and Writing by Sainey Marenah; Photo by Alhagie Manka/State of Mic; Editing by Sam Phatey)