SWAKOPMUND – Over 174 Swakopmund families yesterday received food parcels as part of government’s food bank programme. Most of the recipients are from the impoverished democratic resettlement community (DRC) of Swakopmund. A further 38 families will also receive food parcels today in Karibib. The programme is spearheaded by the ministry of poverty eradication and it is anticipated that it will reach well over 500 beneficiaries.
According to the latest Namibia Household Income and Expenditure Survey (NHIES) 2015/2016 Report from the National Statistics Agency (NSA), extreme poverty shrunk from 15.4 percent to 10.7 percent between 2010/2016, while food poverty has been reduced from 7.2 percent to 6.1 percent, between 2009/10 and 2015/16 respectively.
The statistics further reveal that inequality in the distribution of income and wealth (gini-coefficient) decreased from 0.58 to 0.56.
President Hage Geingob, in a speech that was delivered on his behalf by the Erongo regional governor, Cleophas Mutjavikua, said government despite the decline in poverty acknowledges that income and wealth disparities among Namibians remain unacceptably among the highest in the world.
“The fact that we are reducing inequality, albeit marginally, should encourage us to redouble efforts and remain committed to the cause. A factor that has played a significant role in the reduction of poverty in Namibia is the provision of social assistance to vulnerable Namibians,” Geingob said.
According to the president, government has implemented social safety net programmes such as the old-age social grant, the orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) grant, the disability grant, school-feeding programmes, emergency relief, grants for veterans and development programmes for marginalised communities.
“The leitmotif here is clear and it is to improve the living conditions of our people. I have to single out the old-age social grant that reaches 182 195 pensioners and the disability grant that reaches 44 172 Namibians. Both have been effective in reducing child poverty and income inequality. Without doubt, the increment of the old-age social grant from N$600 to N$1 300 in less than five years is something we ought to be proud of,” Geingob said.
Geingob explained that in the quest to further improve the impact of social safety nets in the eradication of poverty, the line ministry was tasked to investigate the feasibility of consolidating the plethora of social grants into a more effective safety net, hence the food bank was established.
One of the recipients, Magdalena Gowases, thanked government on behalf of the beneficiaries, saying the food will go a long way in their quest for a better life for their families.
“At least we will not sleep hungry for now,” she said.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-10-22 07:09:10 | 5 months ago