UN gives N$15m for drought

13 June 2019 | Disasters

The United Nations office in Namibia has pledged US$1 million (about N$15 million) towards the Namibian government's drought relief efforts.

UN resident coordinator Rachel Odede announced this yesterday and said the organisation has ongoing activities dedicated to the drought.

It has also reprogrammed some its resources, including technical assistance, to support the government with immediate interventions to cope with the drought situation.

Namibia is experiencing its worst ever drought in 40 years.

“In view of the urgent need of assistance, the UN in consultation with the Namibian government has already identified priority, lifesaving interventions. At the same time the UN has drafted an appeal for Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) funding based on need rather than solely on funding gaps in the response plans,” Odede said.

Deputy international relations minister Christine //Hoebes thanked the UN for its contribution.

She said when President Hage Geingob declared a state of emergency because of the drought, all offices, ministries and agencies, as well as stakeholders such as the UN, were called upon to mobilise resources to ensure the necessary assistance is rolled out to affected communities.

She said the UN contribution was a welcome boost “to our coffers and warming the hearts of Namibians, especially those who are direly affected by drought and the resultant food scarcity”.

//Hoebes added that the world is facing existential threats from climate change, technological advances that may change labour markets, the prospect of autonomous weapons' systems and diseases that are more resistant to antibiotics, among others.

JEMIMA BEUKES