EU bails out Gambia with 25M Euro Grant

By Kebba Jeffang

The European Union (EU) has announced that it has signed a 25 million euros grant (1.25 billion dalasis) with the Gambia as a budget support for the country’s struggling economy. This was announced at a ceremony held on Tuesday, August 01, in Fajara.

Mrs Carla Montesi, Director for West and Central Africa at the European Commission Directorate of International Cooperation and Development, who met President Barrow on Tuesday says: “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”.

The EU through this grant aims to promote sound public financial management, mobilising domestic resources and fighting corruption as well as supporting political reforms.

“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,” the statement stated.

It could be recalled that in February 2017 EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Mr Neven Mimica, expressed the European Union’s willingness to partner with The Gambia on its path towards democracy.

In the presence of President Barrow, he signed an immediate package of some 3.75 billion dalasi and announced a subsequent one of about 7.5 billion dalasi before the end of 2017.

Meanwhile, the press statement from the Office of the President on Tuesday quoted President Barrow saying migration was a challenging issue for young people.

He urged all stakeholders to engage in dialogue, as migration was a global problem that could be best addressed through job creation for the youth.  He called for investments that would create jobs to engage the youth in industrial development and in agriculture.

Barrow assured that his administration would cooperate on migration issues and create opportunities for the youth. He commended the EU for supporting the ECOMIG forces in The Gambia and assured the team of the political will to bring positive change in The Gambia.