The objective of our social policy is to improve social justice and harmony among our people by reducing disparities in economic and social conditions. In this regard, we shall direct programmes and actions in the following priority areas:
It is estimated that 60% of the Gambian population suffer from absolute poverty. In terms of food poverty, about 65% of the Gambian population are food poor. Particularly lamentable is the fact that women constitute the majority of this deprived segment of the population. We shall, in collaboration with development partners, institute poverty eradication programmes to eradicate food poverty with particular emphasis on food security.
We are also equally committed to providing a sound healthcare system that places emphasis on safe motherhood, family planning, child survival and proper nutrition. The ultimate objective is, among other things, to provide the enabling environment for a reduction in infant and maternal mortality in the country.
In the context of education, we shall:
- Continue to recognise the importance of technical and vocational training to our economy and shall provide adequate financial and technical support to this sector.
- Area councils will be involved in education investment decisions.
- Parents will be expected to make reasonable contributions towards the cost of their children’s schooling via user charges.
- Foster the autonomy of national training institutions through a policy of decentralization that will allow them to seek their own solutions to the problems they face and to forge closer link with the Labour market.
- By the same token, we will place emphasis on non-formal education as a means of assisting early school leavers in need of marketable skills.
Protecting Women and Children
Women and children are the most vulnerable groups in our society and they experience the most acute forms of social ills including poverty and deprivation. We regard women and children’s issues as a policy priority and shall devise appropriate intervention policies and programmes to promote and protect the rights and welfare of women and children.