Government completes Food Bank roll-out

The Government, through the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare has marked the completion of the roll-out of the food bank in all 14-Regions.

The final launch, which was done in the Erongo Region on Monday, will witness the two towns of Swakopmund and Karibib benefiting from the food bank.

In a speech deliverd on his behalf, President Hage Geingb reiterated the Government's commitment to ensuring no one dies of hunger in the country.

The Food Bank represents one of several strategies aimed at eradicating poverty in Namibia and today, our objective of arresting hunger poverty is closer to being realised in all 14 regions of our country, Geingob noted.

According to him, Namibia joined the World in the call to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2030, a target we have vowed to reach, five years ahead of time.

We are making headway in this regard as the latest Namibia Household Income and Expenditure Survey 2015/2016 Report from the National Statistics Agency, reveals further reduction in poverty levels between 2010 and 2015, he added.

The report also shows that extreme poverty shrunk from 15.4 percent to 10.7 percent over the same period, while the food poverty line has been reduced from 7.2 percent to 6.1 percent, between 2009/10 and 2015/16 respectively.

Statistics further reveal that inequality in the distribution of income and wealth (Gini Coefficient) decreased from 0.58 to 0.56.

Despite this decline, we acknowledge that disparities in the income and wealth of 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.

Minister Zephania Kameeta expressed pride in President Geingob's faith in upholding and moving on with the food bank idea, despite the much received criticism.

It was mainly those who did/do not know hunger poverty that were unhappy with the president's initiative but it has come this far and has become a success, Kameeta said.

More than 500 beneficiaries from 174 households in Swakopmund and 34 households in Karibib will be benefitting from the bank on a monthly basis.

The food bank was first launched in the Khomas Region in 2016.

More than 22 000 households are currently benefitting from the initiative.

Source: Namibia Press Agency