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Over 400 000 Namibians food insecure: Prime Minister

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A vulnerability assessment carried out in August this year found that some 427 905 people in Namibia are food insecure, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has said. The bi-annual assessment was aimed at determining the extent of food vulnerability in local […]

A vulnerability assessment carried out in August this year found that some 427 905 people in Namibia are food insecure, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has said.

The bi-annual assessment was aimed at determining the extent of food vulnerability in local households.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila was speaking here on Monday while addressing stakeholders during the high level stakeholder consultation meeting on the accelerated journey towards zero hunger.

The meeting was organised by the Office of the Prime Minister and attended by various senior government officials, United Nations Resident Representative Sen Pang and the Country Director and Representative of the World Food Programme in Namibia, George Fedha.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said in order for government to keep abreast of food security trends, it conducts bi-annual vulnerability assessments every five years. This year’s assessment done in August found that 427 905 Namibians were food insecure compared to 580 000 reported as being food insecure in 2015.

“The factors contributing to high food insecurity in Namibia are predominantly high unemployment levels, income inequality, animal diseases and the impact of droughts and floods. This year, the invasion of pests and worms in various parts of the country and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic were added to the factors,” said Kuugongwelwa-Amadhila.

She added that government’s ongoing programmes such as the Food Bank supports 10 228 households benefiting over 45 000 persons, while food assistance to marginalised communities benefits 29 044 households and support to people on anti-retroviral medication aids 101 000 clients. Drought relief and COVID-19 food assistance covers 179 938 households, providing immediate relief to those who are food insecure.

“The government’s drought assistance programme provided not only food to households, but also support for water provision and fodder production, including for the development of hydroponic systems and training for farmers to enable them to grow livestock feed, in order to build resilience to drought and enhance national and household food security,” explained Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.

She further added that subsequent to this year’s vulnerability assessment, Government agreed to add interventions aimed at strengthening the ability of households to grow food in order to improve food security at household level. Such interventions include programmes to provide financial support to community-based income generating projects, intensify research on drought tolerant crops, livestock developing and programmes to implement cost effective livestock feed production schemes.

Source: Namibia Press Agency

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