Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has received U.S. government officials at The State House just a day after it was reported that the West African nation’s aid suspension would be lifted.
Mr. Barrow, 52, came to power this year after unseating ex-authoritarian ruler, Yahya Jammeh in last year’s December election.
The country was suspended from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation because of human rights abuses and increased restrictions on political rights, civil liberties, and press freedom by the Jammeh government more than a decade ago.
“Our current relationship with the world is getting stronger. This is possible because we are together. Let us continue to work together to achieve our goal,” said President Barrow.
A health assessment team from the U.S. aid agency was sent to Banjul to look into the public health system of the Gambia.
Health is a top priority for Mr. Barrow’s administration, which has assured citizens of its political will to improve the care and access. The UNAID assessment would provide the Gambia’s Ministry of Health with guidance and support for financing, policy and infrastructure.
“It would also provide the opportunity for discussions that would shape the assistance USAID would provide to the ministry,” said Press Secretary Amie Bojang-Sissoho.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation is a U.S. government corporation designed to work with some of the poorest countries in the world. Most of Washington’s foreign aid is channeled through the Corporation.
The tilt towards a return to the Millennium Challenge Corporation came after President Adama Barrow approved the establishment of a human rights commission. The country’s Attorney General Aboubacarr Ba Tambadou will send a bill to Parliament, which is expected to pass.