Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has suspended all foreign travel by officials, including himself, to reduce public spending, a government spokesman announced Saturday.
Barrow signed an executive order “suspending all overseas travels by the president, the vice-president, cabinet ministers, senior government officials, civil servants and employees across all government institutions and agencies,” for the rest of the fiscal year, presidential spokesman Ebrima Sankareh said in a statement.
Meetings where Gambian participation is compulsory and foreign trips entirely financed by external sources will be exempt.
The Gambia, continental Africa’s smallest country with just over two million inhabitants, ranks 174th out of 191 on the UN’s Human Development Index, which combines health, education and standard of living criteria.
More than a fifth of the population lives on less than two dollars a day, according to the World Bank. Annual inflation reached 11.6 percent last year.
With tax revenues falling, and high state subsidies on fuel, fertiliser and grain due to the effects of the Ukraine war, the budget deficit widened last year
The budget deficit and debt levels have also risen, as tax revenues have fallen and due to higher subsidies for fuel, fertilisers and cereals as a result of the war in Ukraine.