By Saikou Suwareh Jabai The Programme Officer for Networking at The Association of Non-Governmental Organization (TANGO), Mr. Kebba K. Barrow, said inorder to combat poverty in the country and the continent, more concerted efforts must first be put in place in tackling corruption. He was speaking at the launching of the Global Day of Action 2015 at the Gambia College Campus on Saturday, 11 July, under the guidance of the Young Volunteers for the Environment the Gambia. Barrow, who also doubles as the board member of the YVE, presenting on the topic ‘’Ending Poverty’’, said poverty is general scarcity or dearth, or the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money. ‘’It is a multifaceted concept, which includes social, economic, and political elements,’’ he said. Poverty, according to him, may be chronic or temporary and most of the time it is closely related to inequality. Dilating on measures taken to end poverty in the Gambia, Barrow noted that in a national poverty assessment study conducted by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and published in 1992, it is stated that an estimated 33% of the urban populations were identified as ‘’ Food Poor’’ and 75% of the rural populations were estimated to suffer from Food-Poverty during the ‘’Hungry Season’’ in Banjul. ‘’Given the low levels of inequality within and among communities in The Gambia, particularly those in rural areas, it is difficult to isolate particular pockets of poverty, it must be dealt with in a holistic and integrated manner,’’ he said. The TANGO official said a Round Table Conference held in Geneva in April 1994 endorsed the Strategy for Poverty Alleviation (SPA), with The Gambia’s development partners and UN specialized agencies pleading their support where the following Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers were developed and implemented in the Gambia namely Strategy for Poverty Reduction 1-2003-2007, Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper 2-2007-2011, Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment-2012-2015. He noted that over the last three (3) decades, NGO’s and the Private Sector had also supported Poverty Reduction Programme in the Gambia as the following NGO’s are the key main actors in the country, Action Aid International The Gambia, Gambia Women Finance Association, Gambia Women Farmers Association, Women in Service Development Organization and the Association of Farmers Educators and Traders. The measures that needs to be done in ending poverty, he SAID, are the micro credit for women and out of school youths, improve governance systems to fight against corruption, improving the standard of education, infrastructural development- building of roads, electricity, better access to water, building hospitals, adequate distribution of the country’s resources. Mr. Barrow also noted that putting a stop to violence against women and children, the provision of social protection services for vulnerable members of the communities, capacity building and timely provision of equipment to farmers, law enforcement to ensure justice, investing in time saving devices for women, set up credit and saving schemes for farmers, land ownership-stop multi-national corruptions to take land from the poor, improved ICT technology, job creation and farmers working together to improve production are all factors to be addressed.]]>
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