Drought-hit Kavango West receives much needed humanitarian assistance
Drought-ravaged region of Kavango West recently received much-needed emergency food assistance provided by the Chinese government via the World Food Programme (WFP).
Around 1,300 metric tons of food were handed over to the region and it is expected that the donation will assist 77,400 people, many of whom are vulnerable women and children.
Speaking at the hand-over ceremony in Nkurenkuru, Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming said they secured US$1 million worth of food assistance under China’s South-South Cooperation Fund, which is being implemented by the WFP.
“I am aware that the current relief programme by Namibia can only provide 14% of the daily calories needed by each person, and the implementation of this programme will lift this proportion to 60 %,” he added.
Zhang said that he visited some affected areas and saw the devastating impact inflicted on agriculture by the ongoing drought and its negative impact on the region’s economy at large.
“The consequent shortage of food is posing a huge threat to the lives of many local people affected and becomes the utmost concern faced by the government,” he said, adding that he is confident that the programme will be implemented as planned.
Nkurenkuru Constituency Councillor, Damian Nakambare, in her opening remarks said the donation which included basic food commodities like maize meal, cooking oil and salt is set to assist the hardest-hit households in the area.
“This is the third donation so far we have received from China since the declaration of the drought by the president,” she said.
Nakambare on behalf of the Namibian government thanked China for the continued support during the difficult time and hopes the two countries can further strengthen the areas of disaster risk management system and capacity and resilience building so that communities can be able to fend themselves in future amid the disaster calamities.
The WFP Country Director, Bai-Mankay Sankoh said China has been a substantial donor to the WFP in the fight against hunger and is among the top donors in the Southern African region.
According to Sankoh in 2019 alone China has contributed a total of US$21 million dollars for humanitarian intervention to different governments in southern Africa through the WFP programme.
“These are very significant contributions towards the achievements of ending hunger,” he added.