Official launch of the National Dialogue on Wealth distribution and Poverty Eradication
Namibia has become one of the countries in the developing world, with a good story to tell when it comes to poverty reduction. The number of poor people have been reduced from seven to three out of every ten people. Progress has also been made in primary education enrolment, which currently stands at 99%.
- His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia: “My task, is to bring prosperity to all Namibians. I intend to do so, by building on the strong foundation of our Namibian House, by rallying all members of the Namibian House, in the spirit of Harambee, to address wealth distribution and the eradication of poverty. It will be teamwork and not a one-person show. I, therefore, call upon all of us to hold hands and pull together in the same direction.
- Ms. Kiki Gbeho: “The 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development recognises that we can be the first generation to succeed in ending poverty; just as we may be the last to have a chance of saving the planet.”
- Hon Bishop Zephania Kameeta: “We need to bring the youth on board; and equally the youth should increasingly start to identify their role in driving this country towards prosperity.”
Namibia ranks third in the Education for All Development Index; 84% of the population has access to save drinking water. Significant strides have also been made has been made in the fight against malaria and TB, with malaria mortality and morbidity reduced by 90 percent since 2000 and TB cases dropping by 22% since 2013. New infections of HIV have also reduced by 50% since 2001.
The Launch of the National wealth distribution and poverty eradication dialogue hosted by the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, and took place on the 26-27 October 2015 at the Nampower Convention Centre. The dialogue was an initiative of the minsitry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, and aims to engage stakeholders and eventually come up with a blue print to fight poverty.
The launch was attended by His excellency Dr. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, Vice president Dr Nickey Iyambo, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Kiki Gbeho and Hon Bishop Zephania Kameeta, Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare to mention a few.
The dialogue brought to light some of the measures to be put in place for wealth re distribution as well as the eradication of poverty. UNDP Namibia has been working closely with the Ministry of Poverty Eradication, and has accompanied the minister as he undertook nationwide consultations with some of poorest communities in the country.
One immediate measure that will be deployed in the fight against poverty will be the establishment of food banks in all parts of Namibia. The idea here is to bring as soon as possible a halt to hunger poverty in Namibia, especially in urban areas, where there is no access to productive land.
President Hage Geingob in his address also stressed that no Namibia should go hungry, and that his government has called on the assistance of the Cubans, to assist with the modalities of setting up of the Namibian food bank.
The food bank is said to operate along the following lines: It will be organized along street committees or clusters of streets, where young unemployed youth will be engaged to play a critical role in the distribution of food to qualifying families and maintain security, cleanliness and order in those streets. In turn young unemployed youth will get a minimal income for the work done, and by so doing the notion of free money will be dispelled. The food bank will not be solely Government driven, but from high private sector contribution and a culture of voluntarism by all Namibians as well.
Since the said conference the Poverty Ministry has been in the process developing a detailed plan (White Paper) on how to go about fighting the war against poverty in Namibia. The plan incorporates findings of the conference, will have clear goals, critical success factors, targets, actions, timelines and responsibilities. The plan, which will come into effect in the 2016 financial year, will be aligned to the next MTEF to ensure that it is adequately resourced.