6 June 2019

Namibia: Nandi-Ndaitwah Lobbies for Drought Relief Assistance

INTERNATIONAL Relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, on Thursday met with members of the diplomatic corps to sensitise them on Namibia's need for drought relief.

The purpose of the meeting was to present Namibia's drought strategy and response plan in an effort to seek international assistance through members of the diplomatic corps.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said according to a recently concluded Food and Nutrition Security Monitoring Assessment, over 500 000 Namibians face food insecurity and water shortages, adding that within six months, an estimated 60 000 head of cattle have starved due to inadequate grazing.

She noted that the assessment also showed that the whole country is expecting a harvest reduction of at least 53% compared to last season's harvest, and over 42% compared to the 20-year average production.

"This reduction is largely attributed to the general poor rainfall received during the 2018/19 rainfall season," she noted.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said given the situation on the ground, Cabinet endorsed drought relief interventions valued at over N$ 572 million to assist affected food insecure households and drought affected farmers in all 14 regions.

"The interventions are aimed to ensure that no human lives are lost due to lack of food because of drought and also to preserve core herds for the drought affected farmers.

At the occasion, Algerian Ambassador, Sid Ali Abdelbari on behalf of the Algerian government, pledged US$ 250 000 (N$ 3.7 million) to Namibia's drought relief response. -Nampa

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