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Published On: Mon, Dec 19th, 2022

CRS To Manage The 5 Years Mcgovern Dole Food For Education Program

The Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has revealed that it has been selected to manage the McGovern Dole Food for education program. The five year school feeding program which commences in 2023, the FFE project NDOKK is a United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded program that will improve literacy, health and nutrition outcomes in vulnerable regions such as the Central River, Upper River, North Bank and Kanifing Region.

This development was revealed during a press conference on Thursday, organized by the CRS held at its office in Fajara.

Speaking at the press conference, Jennifer Overton, CRS Regional Director West Africa,stated that the CRS in partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and other partners will implement this school feeding program in 186 schools in the four mentioned regions.

She noted that the project was funded by the USAD through McGovern Dole initiative amounts to $28 million for the five years period with possible extension, noting that the school feeding program has been a part of the country’s landscape for decades.

She advanced that their efforts will complement past efforts while drawing on expertise from their partners, particularly MoBSE.

The project targets 186 schools in the four regions, 57, 000 direct participants, 97595 indirect participants through various and complementary activities and 927 new parent teacher associations with 30 new community partnerships that will continue to build community support and sustainability for literacy.

Jennifer noted that the project would be implemented in partnership with MoBSE, Caritas Gambia, and Future in Our Hands-The Gambia (FIOHTG), while she thanked the US government for the resources, a gift from the American people.

She further recalled that since 1964, the CRS has been working in the Gambia which has provided emergency relief to vulnerable communities, strengthened food security, tackled malnutrition, enhanced healthcare services, and provided education opportunities for children and families.

That in 2002, the CRS became the first NGO in the country to initiate a comprehensive home-based care and support program for people living with HIV.

Additionally, she advanced that in 2014, the CRS became the first NGO in the country to secure funding to implement the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) project which the CRS continues to work towards the goal of achieving zero new malaria infections in partnership with the Ministry of Health with support from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

For her part, Susan Solomon, Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy noted that it’s significant that they can provide technical and financial support to help grow the next generation of Gambians ensuring that they are healthy and strong. She noted that the CRS is a great partner that has been executing this type of work for a long time.

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