In spite of the progress made by The Gambia, poverty rate is 39.6 per cent and remains particularly high in rural areas largely due to the vulnerability of agricultural income, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Coordinator, Ms. Ade Mamonyane Lekoetje.
She said it was within this context that UNDP strongly supported the Gambia’s Vision 2016 on food self-sufficiency.
Ms Lekoetje was speaking on Thursday at the launch of the 2014 Global Human Development Report published by the UNDP under the theme, “Sustaining Progress: Reducing Vulnerability and Building Resilience.”
She commended the government’s “bold efforts” to develop a comprehensive social protection policy, which was validated on 9 July 2014, to address the needs of the most vulnerable.
Ms. Lekoetje said the theme of this year’s report was particularly important to many countries as it discussed multiplicity of vulnerabilities the world was facing and how that affected human development outcomes.
“This year’s report continues to echo the message that other Human Development Reports (HDRs) in the recent past have made, that is, most countries in the world including many African countries have continued to make significant progress in human development over the past decade, reaffirming the positive trend in human development and revealing encouraging progress in terms of resilience in the world,” she said.
Ms Lekoetje recalled that the 2013 HDR showed that more than 40 developing countries, with the majority of the world’s population, had greater gains in Human Development Index than the world had predicted given their situation in 1990.
“The 2014 report, indicates that close to 2.2 billion people (that is more than 15% of the world’s population) are near or living in multidimensional poverty, with 80% of the global population lacking comprehensive social protection,” she added.
“It is also true that about 842 million people across the world suffer from chronic hunger, and close to half of the workers in the world are in the informal sector facing precarious working conditions,” Ms Lekoetje said.