FOOD shortages and hunger continues to prevail throughout the northern part of Namibia despite good rain and needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.
This was revealed by Oshana Regional Governor Elia Irmiari during the official announcement of the expansion of the US government drought assistance in Namibia held on Monday.
According to Irimari, the effects of the drought have negatively impacted the social and economic well-being of residents. Livestock and crops alike have been lost and the livelihood of most farming households was destroyed.
“Our immediate concern is to save lives, to ensure that the people that need assistance most are reached and supported,” said Irimari.
He narrated that climate change is a global phenomenon and is here to stay. The immediate focus is to know how best to manage the impact of climate change in order to bring efficiency and effectiveness in addressing it’s effects.
Irmiari said, he hopes the partnership with the World Food Programme will grow even stronger to look into resilience building programmes for their communities.
Speaking at the same occasion the World Food Programme representative to Namibia Bai-Mankay Sankoh, said the organisation will provide monthly food rations to a total of 306 000 drought affected households in six regions of Kunene, Omaheke, Oshana, Omusati, Oshikoto and Zambezi Regions in addition to the ongoing food distribution in Kavango East and Kavango West Regions.
According to Sankoh, each household will receive 17 kilograms of fortified maize meal, three kilograms of beans and one litre of oil per month for a period of four months.
Sankoh noted that in times of drought, families living in poverty usually can’t afford nutritious food, leading to undernourishment.
“Families hardest hit often sell off their livestock or tools to supplement their income.”
“Not supporting or turning a blind eye to people in distress can lead to devastating outcomes for all of us,” he said.
Sankoh stated that cutting hunger and thereby achieving food and nutrition security in Namibia is not only one of the most urgent needs. Reducing vulnerability, enhancing the resilience of national economies and reducing inequality is some the most important needs t be addressed that will ultimately result in a society which produces the highest returns for broader social and economic development.
Sankoh noted that the WFP and the United Nations family in general remains committed in providing support to the Namibian government in order to work towards the goal of ensuring that no one dies from hunger and no one goes to bed hungry expect by choice.