Rations for drought-relief programme to increase

• Initiative to run until next June
The programme will consist of food-relief distribution, water provision and livestock support, Nashandi said.
Elizabeth //Kheibes
Following the announcement of a vulnerability assessment analysis and government’s decision to avail N$892.4 million to its drought-relief programme, it has now revealed that food assistance rations will be increased.

The programme started on 1 October and will run until June next year.

Last week, information minister Peya Mushelenga said Cabinet approved that the programme be extended to families and individuals registered under the marginalised communities programme and uncovered food bank beneficiaries. “In the interim, Cabinet directed the ministry of gender quality, poverty eradication and social welfare to provide data on the marginalised communities and unregistered food bank beneficiaries to the Office of the Prime Minister, [in order for these groups] to benefit from the drought-relief programme. Furthermore, [the ministry was directed] to consider the distribution of food for the marginalised communities every month and to increase the food rations,” he said.

Food, water, livestock support

In August, I-Ben Nashandi, the executive director of the Office of the Prime Minister, revealed that the food parcels given would vary depending on the size of the family.

According to him, assistance would include a 12.5 kg maize meal, cooking oil, and/or available protein. Furthermore, he said the programme will consist of food-relief distribution, water provision and livestock support such as "marketing incentives, subsidies on the lease of grazing, subsidies on transport to grazing areas and subsidies on fodder purchased".

Mushelenga added that Cabinet approved the provision of 20 kg of maize meal per household monthly. “Regional councils should ensure that only households meeting the set criteria of beneficiaries registered for drought-relief food assistance should be considered for the programme,” he said