Middle income tag irks Shifeta

Namibia's upper-middle income rating could adversely impact on funding for critically needed climate change mitigation.

29 June 2018 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has asked global financing institutions to stop classifying Namibia as an upper-middle income country, saying that it hid away stark inequalities.

He made the comments during the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly which is currently in session in Da Nong, Vietnam.

“I would like to use this platform to express our concern about the application of the classification of Namibia as an upper middle-income country and the new co-financing requirements that this entails and the likely reduction in terms of country allocation,” he said.

Shifeta said the continued reliance on gross domestic product-derived indicators masked stark past inequalities.

“This overlooks the vulnerability of the majority of our population and is to the detriment of our rural communities whose livelihoods are so gravely threatened by climate change, biodiversity loss and land degradation, and who are in greatest need of support.”

He also used the platform to point to successes Namibia had made as a result of donor granting from development institutions.

According to Shifeta, to date, Namibia has been able to implement over 30 national projects worth approximately US$71 million and we have participated in 33 regional and global projects.

“These projects have been an enormous help to Namibia in catalysing innovations and best practice approaches in the areas of biodiversity management, climate change adaptation and mitigation and sustainable land management,” said Shifeta.

He called for financing institutions which fund development programmes in Namibia to allow locals to take ownership of projects that they fund.

According to him, Namibia firmly believes that country ownership is the main driver of success when it comes to the conception, design, implementation and sustainability of GEF projects. “For this reason, we would request for the GEF to open up opportunities for the accreditation of national implementing agencies as is being done to good effect by the Green Climate Fund,” said Shifeta.

“It is our view that this will be the best approach to strengthen capacities and the long term benefits and impacts to developing countries from the GEF and will ensure better efficiency and effectiveness in overall implementation,” said Shifeta.

The Assembly will conclude today.

STAFF REPORTER

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