125 more bags of rice for refugees

Friday, September 22, 2006
The Taiwanese Embassy, yesterday donated another 125 bags of rice to the displaced refugees from the Senegalese troubled region of Casamance, who have sought refuge in The Gambia.

At a presentation ceremony held at Ndeban Village in Western Region, Ambassador Chang also donated crates of vegetables produced by farmers at the Banjulinding Horticultural Garden- worth D7, 500.

This is the third consecutive donation made by the embassy to the refugees, since fresh fighting broke up between rebel factions in the Senegalese southern region of Casamance. About six villages hosting the refugees have benefited from the Taiwanese Embassy, while five others are yet to receive, according to official sources.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Chang expressed his delight with the humanitarian assistance. But he also expressed his dissatisfaction with the ongoing violence, that continues to force people to fled their homes.

Dr Chang disclosed that each of the refugees will receive 500g of rice and vegetables as a fixed day-meal. He urged other representatives of foreign governments to expedite efforts in order to provide timely assistance to the refugees.

He commended the Gambia government for its concern and then thumbed up Concern Universal Country Office for distributing the goods. “All the distributions have been in good order,” he said.

Assuring the people of their continued assistance, Dr Chang renewed his call for accelerated efforts to stop the violence in the region, and allow the refugees to return home.

Receiving the goods, Ebrima Sonko, Project Manager of Concern Universal- the Gambia, thanked the Taiwanese Embassy for another “timely gesture. And the refugees have asked me to express their happiness and gratitude to the gesture”.

Mr Sonko said the Taiwanese intervention was the first and only humanitarian gesture he was aware of in the country, since the fighting ignited. “I know some are trying to do the same but this is the concrete assistance that I know. This will serve as a bridge towards alleviating the plight of the refugees in the country,” he added.

Buba Sanyang, Immigration Commissioner for Western Region, thanked the Taiwanese Embassy on behalf of Baboucarr Jatta, Secretary of State for the Interior.
Author: Written by Ebrima Jaw Manneh
Source: The Daily Observer Newspaper
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