More than 500 000 Namibians lifted out of severe poverty – Geingob
With overall poverty expected to increase by an estimated 4.2%, government is looking into a monthly cash transfer for marginalised communities as the first step to a conditional Basic Income Grant.
13 September 2021 | Local News
Since independence, given the comprehensive social safety net programmes, more than 500 000 Namibians have been lifted out of severe poverty, President Hage Geingob has said.
Geingob made these remarks during the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) Presidential 2021 Summit underway in Kenya, Nairobi, under the theme ‘Pathways to Recovery and Resilient Food Systems’, where heads of state and government drawn from the sub-Saharan Africa region have also reiterated their commitment to food security consensus as part of rampart recovery.
Geingob stated that during this administration’s first term in office, the food bank programme was rolled out across all regions, reaching 42 081 Namibians, while the drought relief Programme reached over 2.8 million Namibians cumulatively.
“During this period, no Namibian was reported to have died from hunger despite the country enduring one of the worst droughts in recent history,” Geingob added.
According to the October 2020 Socioeconomic Impact Assessment of Covid-19 in Namibia, overall poverty is expected to increase by an estimated 4.2% as a result of loss of income.
“We have thus responded by resolving to revise and convert the food bank and special feeding scheme for marginalised communities into a monthly cash transfer, as the first step to phase in a conditional Basic Income Grant,” he said.
Contributing to food security
To complement this social safety net programme, Geingob stated that Namibia will promote and facilitate the infusion of private strategic investments into the agricultural sector, noting that this ambition will contribute to the national goals of bolstering food security and self-sufficiency.
He said these schemes hold the potential to unlock the production of high-value crops and contribute to the export market demands while creating thousands of jobs.
“Namibia has established a green economic recovery plan as envisioned in June by African heads of state during the launch of the African Union Continental Green Recovery Action Plan. Our ambitious plans to develop a green and blue economy as articulated under the economic advancement pillar of our Harambee Prosperity Plan II is hinged on our ability to work with global and continental partners to capture our world-class renewable energy resource and utilise it to produce green hydrogen,” Geingob noted.
According to the president, the emissions-free hydrogen will be converted into ammonia, which is a key building block for various fertiliser products. He said locally produced zero emissions fertiliser can be used to provide a fertile opportunity for local and regional sustainable economic development and will meaningfully contribute to a global effort to decarbonise economies while augmenting Africa’s ambitions to attain zero hunger.
“The new clean synthetic fuels industry has the potential to double our gross domestic product, create employment for thousands of Namibians and, importantly, contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable home for our children and our children’s children,” Geingob said.