Namibia to Implement Nationwide Drought Relief Food Voucher System

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Namibia - The Namibian government is preparing to expand a food voucher system to all 14 regions following its successful pilot in the Oshana Region. This initiative is part of the Commodity and Beneficiary Management Information System, a pilot project by the Office of the Prime Minister for alternative drought relief delivery.

According to Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA), Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah announced on Monday that the system automates the food relief beneficiary process, allowing beneficiaries to use vouchers to redeem food items at local retail shops. The successful pilot in the Okatana Constituency involved 1,200 drought-affected households, with each receiving a voucher valued at N.dollars 450. Beneficiaries have successfully redeemed their food parcels at local markets, paving the way for a nationwide rollout.

Nandi-Ndaitwah's announcement came during a report on the government's drought and disaster risk management efforts this year at State House. She revealed that the Cabinet has decided to implement a comprehensive drought relief program from October 2023 to the end of June 2024, in response to a 2023 vulnerable assessment report indicating that around 693,000 people, or 1,750 households, are food insecure and require assistance.

The deputy prime minister also cautioned against the misuse of the drought relief program, urging proper registration of those genuinely in need. With an additional N.dollars 643 million allocated in the mid-term budget to supplement the drought relief program, the government emphasizes the importance of accurately identifying and assisting those most affected by food insecurity.