EU opening a new chapter of relations with The Gambia

Brussels, 9 February 2017

European Commission – Press release

 Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, is in The

Gambia today meeting the newly elected President Adama Barrow and his new Government.

Commissioner Mimica made the following statement: “The peaceful democratic change in The Gambia is the result of the determination of the Gambian people, as well as the regional and international coordinated efforts of the Economic Community of West African States. Gambians have shown commendable resolve, patience and courage during a period of high tension. The EU is fully committed to engage with President Barrow and his Government. We want to be a privileged partner of The New Gambia. In addition to the €75 million package of immediate support signed today, we are already preparing a medium term package of €150 million, which will focus on building the capacities of the State and on job creation.”

This visit is a clear signal of the EU’s readiness to provide immediate financial and technical support to the democratic process in The Gambia and its dividends for the population in terms of good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law. The EU will also step up its support to sustainable and inclusive development of the country in close consultation with the new authorities.

The EU is committed to support progress regarding democracy, human rights, good governance and sustainable and inclusive development.

The package of measures, amounting to €75 million, was signed by Commissioner Mimica today. It comprises a project of €10.5 million to reinforce access of the most vulnerable populations, including female-headed households, to markets and socio-economic facilities. This will be done through a feeder road rehabilitation programme. Further, a project of €20.5 million will aim to create growth and employment opportunities, in particular for youth, as well as better access to food. A project of €11.5 will seek to improve food security, e.g. through supporting the provision of food, cash, treatment of acute malnutrition as well as prevention of all forms of undernutrition. Under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, The Gambia will benefit from a contribution of €11 million aimed at increasing job opportunities for youth. Finally, interventions amounting to €21.5 million in the areas of climate change, food security, support to civil society organisations, democracy and human rights, among others are also part of this first package.