Government short of N.dollars 600 million for drought relief: Prime Minister

Government requires about N.dollars 800 to ensure that all affected individuals benefit from the Drought Relief Programme because many have not been able to harvest due to drought and floods experienced.

This was revealed by Prime Minister (PM) Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, who stressed that the government is in a shortfall of N.dollars 600 million and only about N.dollars 200 million is available.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila during a courtesy call to Erongo Governor Neville Andre Itope and other local leaders within the region in Swakopmund on Friday, expressed the importance of mainstreaming disaster risk management and the need for cooperation between central government in the regional and local authorities.

“With regards to drought relief programs implementation, we would need to ensure that we identify data for the most needy so that we can focus our support on them. This is one way we will also need to work together to ensure that we do not have a duplication and ensure that one person does not benefit from all the programmes,” she said.

The PM also called on emergency committees in the regions to put their political differences aside and focus on saving the people in need by ensuring that the beneficiaries are identified on time so that logistical arrangements are in place, as her office wants to start distributing the drought relief by 01 October.

Meanwhile, Walvis Bay Rural Constituency Councillor Florian Donatus requested that the drought relief also be rolled out to residents in urban areas who are unable to sustain themselves due to unemployment and job losses.

“The COVID-19 pandemic also fueled urban starvation as residents in the constituency lost their jobs and businesses. As a result, we would also like for cabinet to consider the inclusion of urban people in the drought relief programme, as they are equally in need,” he expressed.

About 172,000 households are expected to face high levels of acute food insecurity between March 2023 and June 2024 and will require urgent humanitarian assistance.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency