WALVIS BAY – Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) will spend N$1.8 million in Walvis Bay to aid 1 200 vulnerable families.
The humanitarian organisation yesterday launched its NRCS Humanitarian Aid Project at the town and also provided health packs to 154 households.
NCRS board chairperson Rosa Persendt during the launch said the 1 200 families will receive a cash payout of N$500 each for the next three months to alleviate the negative impact of the lingering Covid-19 pandemic.
“Covid-19 had a devastating effect, especially on business and the most vulnerable members of our society. Hence, we are trying to reduce the impact, especially at Walvis Bay, which had been in lockdown the longest,” she explained.
According to Persendt, NCRS realised that efforts to minimise the impact of Covid-19
cannot rest on government alone, which is why they stepped up to complement government’s efforts.
The qualifying families were identified through a strict selection process that was done in partnership with the Walvis Bay municipality and the Walvis Bay Urban and Rural councillor’s office.
“It required full engagement of all key stakeholders and through a strict selection criterion to sieve the available list and vulnerable families to get to the neediest of the society. The final selected households will receive their N$500 as from this month until December,” she said. Also speaking at the occasion, the deputy minister of gender Bernadette Jagger applauded the aid organisation for complementing government’s efforts, especially to help the vulnerable members of society.
“With the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected the world, it is worth mentioning that millions of people need humanitarian assistance and Namibia is no exception. We have seen great efforts by the government in terms of expanding access to clean water, sanitation and the provision of food as intervention measures to prevent the disease,” she said.
Jagger reminded Namibians they live in a time where many people are negatively affected by disasters.
“It is against this background that humanitarian aid spending tripled in the last ten years. It is, therefore, important that humanitarians and development actors work together to transcend the humanitarian-development divide.
Disaster management follows a logical, integrated and progressive sequence of activities, a cycle of preparedness and action. We must, therefore, improve at anticipating where crises might occur and not wait for any crisis to happen and only then trigger emergency responses,” she said. The deputy minister then thanked NCRS for stepping in at the right time to support and assist the people of Walvis Bay “who had to bear total lockdown for quite an extensive period of time, which had a heavy impact on their lives. That really compromised people’s ability to buy food, as well as curtailing the livelihoods of producers and vendors.”