USAID team visits Gambia Red Cross, flood victims
By Cherno Omar Bobb
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) team in Dakar on Tuesday visited The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) at its headquarters in Kanifing following the support they gave to Red Cross to support flood victims.
The team was led to Kotu and Manjai Kunda to visit some flood victims and see the renovations that have been done and how beneficiaries have used the cash provided. Non-food items were also distributed to 20 flood victim households.
Alasan Senghore, secretary general for The Gambia Red Cross Society (GRCS) said the gesture was a continuation to the response to the flood disaster that happened in July. He said they initially assisted some families with funding from the International Federation for Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the European Union.
“We received additional funding from USAID because we could not support everyone,” he explained, saying their targeting is based on vulnerability.
Chi-Poe Hsia, senior regional humanitarian assistance officer at USAID said they were sad to hear about how the floods impacted Gambian people but are happy to be able to partner with The Gambia Red Cross Society to provide assistance to those affected.
He noted that more assistance is always needed but stated that they are hopeful the assistance given will help beneficiaries start their recovery.
He commended The Gambia Red Cross Society for their tremendous services to humanity, saying their response is very impressive and their work commendable.
Briefing the USAID team, Isatou Joof, deputy disaster management coordinator at The Gambia Red Cross Society said since the major flood happened in July, The Gambia Red Cross Society has been engaged in series of activities and program to support affected families.
She pointed out that this year they tried to close their response timing by responding within 3 to 5 hours of a disaster, saying: “we are concerned about getting relief immediately to victims.”
She said among the services they provided to victims included continuous psychosocial support, non-food items, distribution of water purification tablets, disinfected stagnant waters, provided first aid boxes, free mobile clinics, gave cash for food and cash for shelter to families, among others.
She highlighted that with the additional funds from USAID they will provide an additional 757 households with cash for shelter, out of which 483 will be provided with cash for shelter for one month (D7500) and another 274 to be provided with cash for shelter for two months (D15000).
In addition, she said 350 households would also be provided with non-food items. She thanked USAID for supporting the GRCS to be able extend the support it is rendering to victims. She also assured them that beneficiaries would receive the support as required.