Select your Top Menu from wp menus
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
Office of Prime Minister develops system to offer food vouchers for drought relief recipients to curtail theft

Office of Prime Minister develops system to offer food vouchers for drought relief recipients to curtail theft

Staff Reporter

DURING her budget motivation speech for the Office of the Prime Minister, Saara-Kuugongelwa Amadhila, the Namibian Prime Minister, said that her office has introduced the Commodity & Beneficiary Management Information System (CBMIS).

This system enables the digitization of data of beneficiaries for drought relief food and the issuance of vouchers to beneficiaries. “The vouchers are redeemed at local contracted retailers, and beneficiaries collect their food parcels from there. The transition to vouchers eases administrative and logistical costs associated with food delivery, storage, and distribution. It also minimizes the risk of pilferage and waste of drought relief products and promotes support to the local economies in the different localities,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.

Currently, 2,276 beneficiaries are benefiting from the voucher system.

Photo: Office of the Prime Minister

The change in the way of doing things comes after it was reported that drought relief food worth N$600,000 had been stolen in January 2024 in the Ohangwena region.

She added that a rollout of a voucher system is now underway, with a pilot voucher system implemented in Okatana Constituency, Oshana Region, in October 2023, enabling a transition from in-kind food assistance to a voucher system.

Touching on the overall budget of her office, the Prime Minister said that the proposed budget allocation for Vote 02: Office of the Prime Minister is N$1,104,281,000 (One billion, one hundred and four million, two hundred and eighty-one thousand Namibia dollars) for the 2024/25 financial year. The Vote allocation for the previous financial year 2023/24 was N$1,119,743,000 (one billion, one hundred and nineteen million, seven hundred and forty-three thousand Namibia dollars).

“The year 2023/24 started with a drought spell. As a result, the drought program, which was ongoing from the financial year 2022/23 in Kunene Region, parts of Erongo Region, and parts of Omusati Region, was rolled over to 2023/24. The drought relief program entails food assistance to households; a livestock support program to farmers; and water provision,” Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said.

She added that the food assistance to vulnerable households is provided to a total of 284,462 households, inclusive of 33,105 marginalized communities’ households, which are normally catered for under the welfare programs implemented by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, and Social Welfare.

“Against a budget of N$892 million, as at 28 February 2024, the expenditure under the drought relief program stands at N$361.6 million, of which N$307.0 million was expended towards food assistance, while the logistics costs take up N$33.7 million. The cost of livestock support, in the form of subsidies to participating farmers, was N$7.2 million. The cost of N$13.8 million was expended towards water provision,” the Prime Minister said.

She added that the National Risk Profile was also developed, after risk assessments were finalized for all 14 Regions and a total of 14 hazards were identified.

“The Office will now develop the National disaster risk resilience strategy, taking into account the identified risk profiles. The operationalization of the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) has started with the procurement of computer hardware. The Centre aims to bring disaster early warning systems under one roof for better coordination and early response to detected hazards,” the PM said.

Related posts