Kameeta to roll out BIG

31 January 2019 | Local News

The poverty eradication ministry has announced its intention to roll out its basic income grant (BIG) scheme under the Blueprint on Wealth Distribution and Poverty Eradication, targeting vulnerable women and children in the coming financial year.

According to poverty eradication minister Zephania Kameeta safety nets remain significant relief in terms of eradicating extreme poverty and reducing inequality.

Kameeta said this yesterday during the ministry's annual first staff meeting for year, adding they have attained 97% coverage in terms of the old-age grant and 68% for the disability grant.

According to him the ministry has recorded an overall increase in the number of social grant recipients from 204 621 beneficiaries in the 2016/17 financial year to 211 447 during the 2017/18 financial year.

He added that old-age grant beneficiaries increased from 165 376 to 170 386, while disability grant beneficiaries increased from 39 245 to 41 061 during the period under review.

“The ministry has also managed to develop a Zero Hunger Work Plan as per the monitoring and evaluation framework in line with NDP5.

“These are two very important policy documents that require relentless monitoring for effective implementation.

“The Social Protection Draft Policy is at an advanced stage, with the successful hosting of the social protection workshop in 2018, the document is awaiting stakeholders' feedback for further consideration in 2019,” Kameeta said.

He added that to date, the ministry is distributing food to about 17 000 beneficiaries in the Khomas, Karas, Hardap, Kavango East and Kavango West regions.

Kameeta said N$70 million was used last year to buy food parcels and for the administration of the food bank programme.

“In 2019, more rollouts of the food bank will commence, with consultations with regional councils ongoing, with the aim that the food banks will operate in all 14 regions in Namibia,” he said

The ministry also established a donation account and has collected an amount of N$4.6 million.

JEMIMA BEUKES