The international community stated their support to The Gambia’s National Development Plan (NDP) for the period 2018-2021, an ambitious blueprint for reforms and development approved by the government in January 2018.
Numerous important pledges were announced for the NDP’s implementation. The total amount of pledges stands at EUR 1.45 billion, for the next 3 years of which the EU is contributing with an announcement of EUR 140 million in grants, which comes on top of the EUR 225 million already committed.
This announcement came in a final Communique by the co-Chairs – International Conference for The Gambia, Brussels 22nd May, 2018, which was held at ministerial level in the headquarters of the European Commission, with the participation of delegations from 43 countries and 10 International organisations.
The current government has inherited an unsustainable debt situation, which severely limits the funding of the Country’s National Development Plan, the launching of necessary reform initiatives and the swift achievement of tangible improvements in the living conditions of the population. This situation implies the need for raising grants or highly concessional borrowing to contribute to the funding of the National Development Plan while reducing debt vulnerabilities. The Conference confirmed that it is crucial for the country to have the necessary means to further pursue reforms and investments in services and infrastructures that will allow tangible improvements, in particular concerning job creation.
The conference provided an excellent opportunity to the international community to express its support, both at political level and in financial terms, to The Gambia that is undergoing a historic democratic transition. The commitment of the Gambian government to transform the country to a “new Gambia” and a beacon of democracy was saluted by all. Today’s gathering also reconfirmed the important role of joint efforts by domestic, regional and international actors in supporting the country in its journey towards democracy, stability and sustainable development. Together with other international organisations, the EU has stood by the side of The Gambia through political and financial support and remains committed to continuing this support.
“The EU fully supports the 8 priorities highlighted in the National Development Plan that aim to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth in the country. Further actions will focus on supporting the government priorities notably in the sectors of governance through the support of democratic reforms; in agriculture, promoting job creation for the youth and, in energy sector, granting access to renewable and sustainable energy for the population.”