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World Bank Commits $56 Million to Gambia in Budget Support


A man holds several Gambian banknotes at Serrekunda market in Banjul, Gambia, Jan 27, 2017.

The World Bank will provide Gambia with $56 million in budget support to help the West African country's new government address a high deficit and provide basic public services.

Despite an influx of foreign donor money after succeeding longtime strongman Yahya Jammeh in January, President Adama Barrow's government is struggling to balance its books, running a projected 1 billion dalasi ($21.75 million) deficit this year.

"We are all aware that Gambia is a fragile country, and the current economic crisis may threaten the success of the political transition," World Bank country director Louise Cord told reporters in the capital Banjul.

"We aim to provide a rapid response to the country's urgent financing needs, but also to lay the ground work for future, deeper structural reforms," she said.

Barrow's government has accused Jammeh, who is in exile in Equatorial Guinea, of committing fraud on a massive scale during his 22-year rule, including siphoning off tens of millions of dollars in public money.

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