The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare (MGEPESW) have launched a Cash-Based Transfer (CBT) programme in Onamatanga Village in Omusati Region following a generous contribution of €1 Million (N$17 610 019.00) from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).
The contribution has enabled WFP to strengthen the Namibian Government’s response and delivery mechanisms to vulnerable people affected by devastating droughts and COVID-19 through the innovative approach of cash-based transfers.
The regions of Omusati and Khomas, with marginalised households of 1,775 and 5,125 respectively, were identified as regions that will benefit from this approach. Each beneficiary will receive three cycles of cash-based transfers, on a monthly basis, for a duration of three months.
WFP’s Country Director in Namibia, George Fedha said: “This launch could not come at a better time than now, when the country is faced with multiple socio-economic challenges that have the potential of negatively impacting the gains made on food and nutrition security. Cash-Based Transfers (CBT) put money directly in the hands of the poorest households so they can afford better nutrition and essentials for their children and family.”
Through this EU contribution, the government of Namibia, in partnership with WFP, aims to reduce poverty, improve livelihoods through enhanced household purchasing power, increase dietary diversity, reduce levels of under-five malnutrition, and support local retailers with the end benefit of stimulating the local economy.
Namibia’s Minister of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Hon. Doreen Sioka said: “High dependence on food imports results in Namibia’s susceptibility to high food prices, a situation that further compromises the ability of the poor and most vulnerable households to access adequate food that is available in the country.”
Cash-Based Transfers provide additional benefits to communities, including efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of food assistance, and especially in contexts and countries with vibrant and integrated markets. Namibian households will see increased financial inclusion and awareness as communities will have the choice of buying a variety of local and indigenous food, promoting local traditions.