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News release

Gambians to government: Focus on the economy, health, and food shortages

20 Apr 2023 Gambia
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News release
Key findings
  • Management of the economy (48%) is the most frequently cited problem that Gambians want the government to address, followed by health (44%), and food shortages (24%) (Figure 1).
  • Citizens' ratings of the government’s economic performance have declined sharply compared to previous years. Only small minorities say the government is doing a good job on managing the economy (13%), creating jobs (12%), improving living standards of the poor (10%), narrowing gaps between rich and poor (7%), and keeping prices stable (3%) (Figure 2).
  • About one-third (34%) of Gambians experienced high lived poverty during the previous year (Figure 3).
  • About three-fourths (76%) of Gambians say they or someone in their household went without medical care at least once during the previous year, a 16-percentage-point increase compared to 2018. The share of households that went without enough food increased by 21 points over the same period, to 49% (Figure 4).

Management of the economy, health, and food shortages are the most important problems that Gambians want their government to address, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows.

Public assessments of the government’s economic performance have worsened sharply since 2018, and about one-third of Gambians experienced high levels of lived poverty during the year preceding the survey. Meanwhile, the proportions of Gambians who report having experienced shortages of medical care and food continue to increase.

Countering economic and development challenges is a goal of the “green recovery- focused” national development plan (2023-2027) the government is currently developing, prioritising recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic along with forward-looking climate and environmental policies. A national health insurance scheme that is being rolled out will perhaps contribute to addressing inadequate access to health care.