Plans afoot to re-engineer food bank to drive sustainability

WINDHOEK, FEB 11 — Namibia has plans to revamp the country’s Food Bank social safety net program to fuel sustainability. Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare Zephania Kameeta said the Food Bank concept will be re-engineered to include special case management and graduation models.

The Food Bank, launched on June 30, 2016, by Namibian president Hage Geingob benefits households with a monthly income of less than 400 Namibian dollars (29 U.S. dollars).

Under the program, beneficiaries now receive food parcels worth 500 Namibian dollars (41 dollars).
The revamp will explore alternative sustainable interventions, and further extend its beneficiaries’ portfolio, the minister said.

“Beneficiaries will be introduced to income-generating programs, to graduate from food handouts to generating an income to sustain themselves,” he said.

The food bank now covers over 17 000 beneficiaries in six of the 14 regions countrywide and is expected to extend across the country by June 2019.

The government committed 8.7 percent of its national budget on social protection interventions during the current fiscal year.
World Poverty Clock 2018 statistics shows that 476,372 people, over 18 percent of the Namibian population, live in extreme poverty. – XINHUA