For 53 years, Gambia has been classified among the least developed countries (LDC) and the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC). What does it mean to be a poor person in The Gambia?

It means that one earns less than D48 a day amounting to a dollar. This is translated into a monthly income of D1440. Such an income could only enable a person to buy a bag of rice for more than D1150 and purchase the cheapest fish for 5 days at D50 a day.

This confirms that the life of the poor person is impossible to live. This is why hypertension and diabetes are common illnesses among the poor. Death is also not uncommon because of inability to purchase the necessary drugs to manage such illnesses. Very few Gambians are living middle income and high income lives.

Without major salary increases and producer prices and rise many people are going to continue to live in poverty. There is therefore need to put the eradication of poverty as the most important agenda for any government. A sovereign people do not deserve to live in poverty. They deserve to live in liberty and prosperity.

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