Located in West Africa, The Gambia is a small country with a population of just 2.3 million. Despite its small size, the country has some significant issues and urgently needs international aid assistance to help alleviate the suffering felt by so many.
The Orphans in Need team works across The Gambia, providing vital support and aid to those who need it, but we can’t do anything without the help of our generous donors.
With more than 1.6 million people in need of assistance due to climate change, gender-based violence, widespread poverty, and basic human rights violations – the country is a dangerous place for marginalised groups, and our work remains essential.
More than 48% of Gambians live in a state of poverty, meaning they cannot access basic food and housing provisions. Unlike other African countries, The Gambia is not moving forward in eradicating poverty, with rates remaining steady or worsening.
The Gambia has a rich and diverse landscape with fertile lands, but unpredictable weather conditions make it exceptionally difficult for local farmers to cultivate enough food. In fact, the country is only able to produce 50% of the food it needs. The rest is imported, and it can cost a family up to 50% of their total income to buy food.
Increasing droughts and floods push food prices up, making it unreachable for many and forcing them to go without food. As a result, 10% of Gambians are malnourished, and almost a quarter of children have stunted growth.
One of the biggest issues facing The Gambia is gender-based violence. There are laws to prevent the exploitation of females, but it remains a severe problem throughout the country. Up to 20% of women have been victims of physical or sexual abuse in their lifetime, whilst 30% of girls are married before the age of 18.
On top of this, 75% of women and young girls experience female genital mutilation, despite it being criminalised.
Lack of Infrastructure
Ranked as the 16th least developed country globally, infrastructure for education and healthcare is scarce in The Gambia. Sanitation is not widely available, with just 30% of Gambians washing their hands with soap and 34% of households having no access to safely managed water. This means disease runs rife, but there are few hospitals or medical professionals.
HIV/AIDS and respiratory conditions are the two biggest killers, but diarrhoeal conditions also claim many lives. In fact, 44% of children under the age of five are treated for diarrhoeal conditions every year – much of which is preventable through adequate sanitation and better access to healthcare.
How You Can Help The Gambia
Orphans in Need works across The Gambia to provide essential aid and support to the millions who need it, but we can’t do so without your help. Please donate what you can so we are able to continue our life-saving work in West Africa.