On the eve of Namibia’s 30th independence anniversary, US President Donald Trump has sent a congratulatory message to President Hage Geingob and the Namibian people and also hailed Namibia’s strong democratic tradition, which he said was evident in last year’s free and fair general election.
“President Trump said that Namibia’s strong democratic traditions were evident in its peaceful national elections last year and that Namibia’s continued commitment to human rights and the protection of individual freedoms remains a model in the region and around the world,” read the statement from the US embassy in Windhoek yesterday.
“President Trump highlighted his pride that the United States has been able to support Namibia’s successful response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and applauded its commitment of resources to addressing this issue,” it added.
Trump, according to the statement, looked forward to increasing existing bilateral trade and investment to benefit both countries and their people.
Since 2010, American health development assistance to Namibia has focused on the country’s HIV/AIDS pandemic and its related health challenges, such as tuberculosis, with USAID, along with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Peace Corps supporting the government’s national HIV response, in coordination with civil society and other stakeholders.
Meanwhile, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (Pepfar) and the Namibian government are in partnership to meet joint priorities to build capacity and systems needed to ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of the national HIV/AIDS program.
Since the beginning of Pepfar in Namibia, the U.S. government has invested nearly U.S. $1.2 billion (N$17.8 billion) in HIV programming in Namibia. Pepfar was enacted on 27 May, 2003 and began its work in Namibia in 2005.
Last year alone, Pepfar committed nearly N$1.2 billion (U.S $82 million) for HIV programmes in Namibia.
Also, to alleviate the hardship brought on by the drought, the U.S. government last year donated US$7.6 million worth of food assistance for some of Namibia’s most vulnerable populations.
The donation was in addition to the US$81.4 million in Pepfar funding committed for the 2020 financial year starting 1 October, 2019.
This donation builds on the USAID/OFDA US$100 000 provided in May 2019 to the Namibian Red Cross for water and hygiene assistance for the Kunene region.