The COVID- 19 pandemic poses serious socioeconomic challenges to The Gambia. Beyond its manifestation as a health crisis, the containment measures deployed to curb the spread of the virus have negatively impacted the social and economic sectors leading to loss of employment, food and nutrition insecurity, disruptions in accessing education, and declining revenues and economic growth among others. The pandemic also negatively impacted the implementation and attainment of our current national development objectives through its effects on the people, systems, institutions, and the economy.
Institutionalization of COVID-19 Recovery Planning
In response to the pandemic, the Government of The Gambia in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), established the Reprioritized National Development Plan/COVID-19 Socioeconomic and Recovery Secretariat under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to lead in the formulation of the national COVID-19 Recovery plan through the reprioritization of the current national development plan (NDP 2018 -2021). The secretariat will also support mobilization of resources for the plan as well as guide the institutional arrangements for the successful implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the plan.
Core Mandate of the Secretariat
The Reprioritized National Development Plan/COVID – 19 Socio-economic and Recovery Secretariat was established in June 2020 in a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in The Gambia and the Government of The Gambia through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (MoFEA).
The secretariat is tasked to support delivery on 3 milestones:
- Reprioritization in a fast-tracked and laser-focused manner, the current National Development Plan (NDP) interventions within the context of COVID-19 and essentially launch and operationalize a COVID-19 Recovery Plan for The Gambia with a view to building forward better following the pandemic;
- Support the mobilization of resources for the reprioritized national development plan /COVID-19 recovery plan, as well as coordinate the plan’s implementation,
- Support the management of partnerships established around the recovery plan as well as support through the provision/utilization of systems and processes, MoFEA’s institutional development within the context of COVID-19.
Vision for COVID-19 Recovery Planning
The pandemic’s multi-dimensional impact indicates the integrated and indivisible nature of sustainable development. As such any COVID-19 recovery must go beyond human health to encompass multisectoral elements while simultaneously addressing the double crisis of the pandemic and climate change. A green and resilient recovery is a strategic offer the Gambia could leverage to enhance the resilience and sustainability of its economy and society using environmental, economic, and social programmes and investment plans in tandem.
Timelines for the 2 Stages of The Gambia’s COVID-19 Management
- Response Stage - April 2020 – March 2021
- Recovery Stage – April 2021 – onwards
Key Principles Guiding the Recovery Planning Process
- Inclusion, tackling inequalities and collective promise to Leave No One Behind
- Integrated and multidimensional approach
- Sustainability- Beyond recovery, towards 2030
- Alignment to the National Development Plan, SDGs, and AU Agenda 2063
Opportunities for Green and Resilient COVID-19 Recovery
- Nature based solutions
- Green Financing
- Restorative and climate smart agriculture
- Sustainable tourism
- Green jobs and economy
- Green energy
Milestones for COVID-19 Recovery Planning in The Gambia
Milestone # 1: COVID-19 Impact and needs assessed to inform institutional and policy-setting for COVID-19 Recovery
Milestone # 2: Policy and Strategy Formulated for Integrated, Cross-sectoral COVID-19 Recovery
Milestone # 3: Resources Mobilized & Aid Coordinated for the COVID-19 Recovery Plan
Milestone # 4: Institutional Arrangements Established For COVID-19 Recovery
Milestone # 5: Implementation& Management Arrangements For COVID-19 Recovery
Sustainable Financing of The Gambia s Development in a COVID19 era
The Gambia urgently needs to adopt financing mechanisms that will underpin and ensure the delivery of its national development plan, which is being been reprioritised to support pandemic recovery, and its long-term climate vision, which has just been developed. In this second briefing on The Gambia, we consider the requirements of sustainable financing for development in a COVID-19 era and explore important factors required to support it, from a strong legal framework and enabling environment to risk and resilience financing, digitalisation and debt management options. As with the first briefing in this series,1 the thinking will also apply to other Least Developed Countries as they seek to enhance sustainable financing for development against the backdrop of pandemic recovery.