Media CenterOn Thomson Reuters Foundation: What Does Jammeh's Defeat Mean for Future of Aid and Development in Gambia?

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On December 1, in a stunning victory that's being hailed as a triumph for democracy, the tiny West African nation of Gambia elected a new president, replacing a leader who had ruled the country for more than two decades. The hope is that this change in leadership will bring in more foreign investment while at the same time enhancing Gambia's relationship with the international community. Catholic Relief Services (CRS), along with its Church partners, has had a strong presence in the country for decades, with robust programming tied to multiple sectors, including work in the health sector on malaria prevention. 

In an article that examines the impact of the election on the country’s ongoing development, Thomson Reuters Foundation quotes Carla Fajardo, CRS' country representative for Senegal and the Gambia: 

Gambia's shock election result, which saw veteran leader Yahya Jammeh defeated after 22 years in power, could mend the West African nation's ties with Europe, boost its development, and halt an exodus of migrants to the West, analysts said on Monday....

Gambia, one of Africa's poorest and smallest nations with a population of 1.9 million, has had tens of millions of euros in aid from the European Union (EU) blocked in recent years due to concerns over human rights violations during Jammeh's rule....

Aid agencies said they hoped [president-elect Adama] Barrow's victory would spur donors to invest in Gambia and tackle issues ranging from high rates of malnutrition to vulnerability to rising sea levels....

"The international community should not wait to be contacted but rather start engaging the new government," said Carla Fajardo, country representative of the Catholic Relief Services.

Read the full article, What Does Jammeh's Defeat Mean for Future of Aid and Development in Gambia? on Reuters.

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Nikki Gamer

Media Relations Manager

Nikki Gamer
December 8, 2016

Based in Baltimore, MD

Nikki is the Media Relations Manager for CRS and connects journalists to regional stories and sources related to the agency’s life-saving development work. Previously, Nikki worked as the Communications Officer for the Middle East, Europe, and Central Asia. She has covered CRS’ response to the Syrian refugee crisis and the mass displacement of...More