KEETMANSHOOP - The Constitution of Namibia, Article 95, requires the state to actively promote as well as maintain the welfare of people and create equal opportunities.
Zephania Kameeta, Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare this when officially opening a regional consultative workshop on the Social Protection Policy Draft at Keetmanshoop earlier this week.
The parliamentarian then explained that this draft aims specifically to address vulnerabilities, tackle social exclusion and eradicate poverty.
He continued by referring to the Namibian Constitution which requires government to implement and effect social assistance programmes, which includes amongst others old age pension, disability, veterans and children grants, school feeding and social housing.
“This is clear evidence of the government’s commitment towards addressing poverty and inequality,” said minister Kameeta.
He further pointed out government’s push to strengthen and expand social protection systems as a means to address poverty amongst the most vulnerable citizenry. Kameeta in addition hail the country’s social protection system which compares comprehensive to those in Southern Africa, but felt that it is “still largely fragmented and exclusive, with a lack of effective synergy of social protection policies and programmes, hence the need for social protection reforms”.
“The draft policy adopts a broad view of social protection as composed of social assistance, social insurance, social welfare services and labour market policies as well as a broad range of public, and sometimes private instruments aim to enable Namibian people to manage risks, cope with vulnerabilities, eradicate poverty and reduce inequality,” he said.
In addition, he highlighted the broad objectives which this policy in the end aims to achieve, listing them as the universal maternity grant and health coverage, universal child and disability grants, employment creation and empowered women and youth.
Other objectives are sustained old age and disability income security, improved food and nutrition security, inclusion of marginalised people, affordable housing, integrated social registry and services, enhanced coordination of social protection and improved monitoring and evaluation of social protection.
The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare is mandated to lead and coordinate national efforts to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality in Namibia. It is therefore coordinating the formulation of the National Social Protection Policy intended to create a social protection system that is efficient and effective in addressing risks and vulnerabilities that people face in different stages of their lives.