One of the silver linings of Covid-19 is the Gambia’s ability to acquire a comprehensive data on vulnerable households and groups.
The advent of the pandemic has found the country struggling to come up with a social registry that could inform response strategies of the government, donor agencies, philanthropists and NGOs to disasters, pandemics and other events that may render people vulnerable.
This is why when China gave The Gambia 40,000 bags of rice almost a fortnight ago, JollofNews harbours no fear that the consignment should be easy to distribute.
With the availability of vulnerable households and groups map, we believe government should be able to quickly identity who else is deserving of the China rice.
Though more and more people continue to be swept under the poverty line by each passing day, the distribution of the rice to those it’s intended for could be facilitated by the existing Covid-19 data, regarding vulnerable households and groups.
Meanwhile, if our experience of the previous food aid distributions are anything to go by, we would then urge the government to do more and better this time around.
The Office of the Vice President actually did an abysmal job in distributing the World Bank Covid-19 food relief as even in the capital, where the distribution began, many felt they were ignored by the government.
Similar sentiments rippled in other parts of the country.
The Barrow government should, therefore, use the Covid-19 food aid distribution debacle as a learning curve and do more and better with the China rice distribution.
The earlier the rice is doled out meanwhile, the fewer the speculation that its distribution may be delayed so that the NPP can make a political capital out of it in the incoming local government elections.
Give the rice to the deserving people and now!