Food bank kicks off
The first Food Bank initiative in Namibia was officially launched by His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob on 30 June as stipulated in the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
The President reiterated the call he made when he was introduced as the third President by declaring an all out war against poverty an also calling on different sectors to get involved to fight and eradicate poverty. Furthermore the President pointed out the need of being prepared by ensuring appropriate systems are put in place to address poverty and hunger.
The Food Bank involves sourcing and distribution of food and non- food to the people that are identified by the Street Committees according to the criteria as needy. The criteria for the identification of the poor and vulnerable persons during the pilot phase to benefit from the food bank are households whose total per capita monthly income is below N$400.Meaning that the support is given at household level.
The sourcing of the items will be done according to the government procedures and also the Tender Board Act 1991 and the Procurement Act of 2015.The ministry has so far trained 117 community based, unemployed, volunteers and predominate youth residing in the pilot Tobias Heinyoko and Simora Michelle constituencies.
The street committees will be responsible for identifying and registering beneficiaries according to the criteria set by the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare. The committee will also be doing ongoing assessments of vulnerability as well as collect and distribute the food parcels in the locations. The committee will be rewarded with an allowance for the work the have done.
The monthly food parcels for beneficiaries have been established in consideration with the nutritional value they provide and is aimed at providing. The parcels will contain 9 items with the market value of N$550.
The provision of food to the most vulnerable is a short-term intervention to those households mostly at risk of hunger poverty. This is in line with Governments Harambee Prosperity Plan Goal 7, which targets Zero deaths due to hunger.
The provision of food is not to create dependency but to help the needy. With the provision of this items the beneficiaries are empowered to take part in life activities. Monitoring and reporting will be done by the Street committee. The implementation of strict measures and monitoring will be done to undeserving recipients.
The Food Bank Building is also under consideration and the expression of interest is under review and designs will be adjusted accordingly. Meanwhile the Ministry will continue using existing facilities.
The Food Bank programme is currently only in Windhoek. The Ministry plans to conclude in the Khomas region by December 2016 and roll out in other towns.