WINDHOEK-- A survey by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has found that the Namibian government is doing little to address unemployment and poverty, which have been rated by Namibians as their most burning challenges.

The findings are contained in a summary of results of the Afrobarometer Round 7 survey carried out in November 2017, for which 1,200 people were interviewed. "The majority of Namibians say the government is not doing enough to address unemployment and poverty," the report states.

This, according to the IPPR, is despite the fact that the government's Harambee Prosperity Plan has prioritised unemployment and poverty as among the challenges which require undivided attention.

The survey found that 70 per cent of the people interviewed had gone without a cash income at least once over the year preceding the survey, with a stark contrast between urban and rural populations.

A further 47 per cent had gone without food at least once during the same period. In addition, the IPPR found that most Namibians are of the view that Government has performed "fairly badly" or "very badly" in handling key issues related to poverty reduction.

A total of 66 per cent of those interviewed suggested that the government increase social protection grants, while 64 per cent called for the reduction of the defence budget in favour of poverty eradication and development.

Fifty-three per cent of the people interviewed wanted a raise in taxes for poverty reduction.

"The majority of respondents say their government is handling key issues related to poverty and unemployment badly, including job creation (75 per cent), narrowing gaps between the rich and the poor (73 per cent), improving living standards of the poor (59 per cent) and ensuring that everyone has enough to eat," the research found.

Statistics provided by IPPR show that 66 per cent of the respondents felt that unemployment is Namibia's biggest problem while 34 per cent said poverty is their greatest challenge, while 21 per cent viewed land ownership as Namibia?s most important shortcoming.