Lahja Nashuuta Windhoek-The Chairperson of the Namibian Non-Governmental Organisations Forum (NANGOF), Sandi Tjaronda, has called on Namibian lawmakers to review the country’s outdated Civil Organisation and Government Policy to allow government to invest in the activities of NGOs. In an interview with New Era yesterday, Tjaronda stressed that this policy, developed by the National Planning Commission (NPC) in 2005, is outdated and needs to be reviewed as it no longer speaks to the challenges facing NGOs on the ground. According to the World Bank, Namibia is classified as an upper middle income country with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of around US$5700. As a result of this classification, many donors have withdrawn their support of local NGOs, many of which are now finding it hard to sustain themselves. “There is a need to amend the existing policy and law that will give NGOs access to state resources and ensure the activities are all budgeted for and make sure that all organisations benefited from the taxpayers,” Tjaronda said. “There is a need to create a pool of resources where NGOs can be able to access those resources.” Yesterday was World NGO Day, observed annually on February 27. Tjaronda, who also serves as the executive director of Namibia Networks of Aids Service Organisation (NANASO), singled out lack of funds as the major challenge facing NGOs following the current classification of Namibia by the World Bank. “We have organisations that closed down due to lack of funds. Sustaining the remaining ones is another challenge as the funds being received from the donors such as Global Fund, USAID, PEPFAR and CDC are no longer sufficient to sustain some of the organisations,” he elaborated. Tjaronda said as Namibians observe World NGO Day, they must celebrate the work done by men and women on the ground in pursuance of a better society. He was referring to the few people that are selfless and contribute their time, resources and life to serve humanity through the work of various NGOs. “We are celebrating those that are speaking out on injustices, inequality, poverty, education and access to health services as well as gender-based violence. In commemoration, we remember the leaders such as our president [Hage Geingob] who have been advocating universal healthcare in order to make sure that no one is left out; including those that are in custody,” he said. World NGO Day was established in 2010 by the United Nations to raise awareness and recognise importance of the NGOs worldwide.
2018-02-28 08:57:31 6 months ago