Taiwan gives more rice to refugees

Friday, October 5, 2007

Refugees from the troubled southern Senegalese  region of Casamance have received 103 bags of 50kg rice from the Taiwan Embassy in Banjul.

The 13th consignment brought the total number of bags to 1,529, since the refugees started arriving at the satellite villages, along The Gambia’s border, amid renewed internal factional conflict among the MFDC rebel movement. About 5,000 Casamance refugees are currently in the country, according to official statistics.

Dr Patrick Chang, Taiwan’s Ambassador in The Gambia, yesterday, presented the consignment to Ansumana Jammeh, Executive Director of the Jammeh Foundation for Peace - a presidential charity that provides for the poor and the needy, for onward distribution to refugees.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, held at Foni village of Ndenban in Western Region,  Ambassador Chang, said the 13th consignment was propelled by the spirit of Ramadan, saying that it was intended to enable the refugees to enjoy the beauty of the Muslim Holy Month. He stressed the need for society “to provide for those in need to alleviate the burden”.

He informed the ceremony that the high quality rice was produced by the farmers in Sapu in Central River Region, with the technical support of the Taiwanese Technical Mission. He urged the people to emulate the efforts of President Yahya Jammeh, to achieve food security for the country.

“The people will be kept away from hunger if they produce enough,” he said.

Dr Chang then thanked the JFP and the Gambia Red Cross Society for their support in the distribution of the consignment to the refugees. He used the opportunity to express hope that peace returns to Casamance to enable the refugees return to their home and live  normal lives.

Receiving the donation, the JFP’s Executive Director, Ansuma Jammeh, described the gesture as timely, saying that it is difficult for people to live normal lives during the rainy season, especially for the refugees, as farm produce is scarce.

Mr Jammeh thanked Taiwan, through its Banjul Embassy for the donation. He said Taiwan has gone the extra mile to provide colossal humanitarian assistance worth more than what even the UNHCR is providing.

He assured the Taiwanese Embassy of his foundation’s partnership at all times, saying that the rice would be accordingly distributed to the beneficiaries.

Author: by Ebrima Jaw Manneh
Source: The Daily Observer Newspaper
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