By Tiri Masawi
Namibia’s efforts to quell effects of drought received a major boost on Wednesday when the United States of America donated food aid and material support worth US$7.6 million (N$106 million).
Namibia, like many countries in Southern Africa, is reeling from an El-Nino inflicted drought which has left farmers counting loses as both crops and livestock have been destroyed while the government has confirmed that more than 400 000 families need food subsidies until the next harvesting season.
The donation was funded by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relieve (PEPFAR) and is in addition to the US$81.4 million in PEPFAR funding committed for the 2020 financial year starting October 1, 2019.
US Ambassador Lisa Johnson made the announcement following a meeting with President Hage Geingob at the State House in advance of his travel to the UN General Assembly in New York where she also emphasised the cordial relations between the two countries in areas of mutual cooperation, including health and provision of support in key areas.
Namibia, Johnson added, was one of the major recipients of US support in Africa, especially in HIV and Aids management as well as project financing in areas that have far reaching implications for its citizens.
“The drought has brought real hardship to Namibia and significantly impacted livelihoods. Many of Namibia’s most vulnerable citizens do not have enough food to eat. I have heard this personally from many people as I have travelled around the country recently, including in Kunene, Omusati, Kavango, and Zambezi,” said Johnson. .
She added that the 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.
This donation will provide US$7.6 million of food assistance consisting of more than 5,000 tonnes of food, provide some of Namibia’s most vulnerable populations in regions hardest hit by the drought with up to six months of food assistance and reach and feed an estimated 110,000 Namibians.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation has raised alarm over the challenge of hepatitis E in Namibia’s informal settlement where more than 660 000 do not have access to proper sanitation.
Read more from source The Southern Times