President Barrow at the Gambia/EU conference

President Adama Barrow will Friday return to Banjul from Brussels, Belgium where donors have pledged at least €1.45 billion ($1.71 billion) to support his government to achieve its five-year development plan.

Tuesday’s donor meeting in Brussels took place amidst trepidation over a preliminary study by the International Monetary Fund which warned that Gambia’s debt vulnerabilities remain high and advised Banjul to chase grants instead of loans to address its spending needs.

Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, vice president of the Gambia said the pledges, when fulfilled, would advance the government’s development agenda to move the country from its numerous development constraints emanating from 22 years of former President Yahya Jammeh.

She said the success of the donor conference was a demonstration of President Barrow’s leadership. She called on Gambians and well-wishers to take to Banjul International Airport and along the streets to welcome Mr Barrow

“The government gives thanks to Allah Almighty, in the Holy Month of Ramadan, for His Excellency Adama Barrow’s demonstrated leadership and historic achievement,” the Vice President said.

“The Government extends its sincere gratitude to the international partners, particularly the UNDP and European Union (EU), for their unflinching support in the preparatory and holding processes of the roundtable Conference that has resulted to this historic achievement.