Development goals have been focused on transport and communications improvements, increases in rice and groundnut yields, and production diversity.
The historical importance of Great Britain to The Gambia has declined, as Gambia has turned increasingly to the IDA and the European Development Fund, France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and Arab donors for aid. When Western aid ceased after the 1994 military takeover, The Gambia turned to Taiwan, Libya, Cuba, Nigeria, and Iran for economic support.
In 1999, the EU intended to spend $20 million on poverty alleviation, and the African Development Bank sponsored a $1 million rehabilitation program for the fishing industry. In 2000, The Gambia was slated to receive $91 million in debt relief under the International Monetary Fund (IMF)/World Bank Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, intended to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth. The IMF began a three-year $27 million Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) Arrangement with The Gambia in 2002, which was due to expire in 2005. The agriculture, tourism, and construction sectors drove GDP growth in 2001 to 6%. The government in 2002 was directing spending to social sectors, including agriculture, education and health. A girls' scholarship program began in 2001, which met with great success enrolling girls in poor households in school.
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