About 92% of the overall gender equality, poverty eradication and child welfare ministry’s budgetary allocation for this financial year has been allocated to social protection services.
A total of N$5 billion is allocated to that programme for the 2022/2023 financial year towards the provision of social grants to pensioners, persons with disabilities and child welfare grants.
The programme also caters for the food bank initiative, funeral cover, a conditional income grant to food bank beneficiaries, a review of the current database system and personnel expenditure.
“The total number of social grant beneficiaries administered by the ministry stands at 341 204 vulnerable children, 192 544 pensioners and 48 472 persons with disabilities, respectively,” minister Doreen Sioka said in her budget motivation. “These represent the coverage of 98% of old-age grant beneficiaries, 74% of disability grant beneficiaries and 71% of children’s grant beneficiaries. A total of 9 987 households representing 42 082 individuals received food parcels across all 14 regions as part of the government’s food assistance programme for the urban and peri-urban poor.”
The minister added the food provision assistance under the food bank programme of the ministry has been transformed into cash as directed by the Harambee Prosperity Plan II, with 8 339 current beneficiaries.
The cash payment to the current food bank beneficiaries commenced on 1 April 2022.
Sioka told the National Assembly last Thursday during the budget motivation.
She said the Social Protection Policy was launched on 31 March 2022, and the ministry will embark on the implementation of the provisions of the policy, where resources permit.
The minister indicated the primary purpose of the programmes under this main division is to ensure the administration and timely payment of social grants and funeral benefits to eligible beneficiaries.
She said the ministerial budget appropriation for the 2022/23 financial year amounts to N$5 508 460 000, which represents a 1.2% increase, which might appear small, but in fiscal terms, it will go a long way in assisting the ministry to reach out and address the plights of more Namibians.
Sioka said an amount of N$5 497 460 000 has been allocated for the operational budget, whilst N$11 000 000 is allocated to the development budget for the 2022/23 financial year.
An amount of N$26 370 000 is allocated to the programmes under the Main Division Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
According to the minister, that amount is inclusive of projects aimed at combating gender-based violence (GBV), trafficking in persons (TIP), promotion of gender equity, women’s empowerment, gender-responsive budgeting and personnel expenditure.
“A total amount of N$42 516 000 is allocated to this main division for the support and empowerment of community micro-businesses through the IGA programmes, enrolment of children into early childhood development (ECD) centres and provision of support in the form of monthly subsidies to educarers and personnel expenditure,” she informed the house.
Sioka said the child care and protection unit has been allocated an amount of N$68 749 000, which includes programmes and activities aimed at the provision of childcare and protection services, food rations for Namibia Children’s Home and After School Centre.