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Other Articles from The Villager

State spends N$528m on social grants

Tue, 13 December 2016 14:15
by Rodney Pienaar
News

The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW) has spent over N$528 million on social grants of orphans and vulnerable children (0VC) for the first nine months of this year, January to September. 

MGECW pays an amount of N$250 per child and by the end of September a total of 235 000 OVC were recorded on the ministry’s grant system receiving different grants, revealed its Chief Public Relations Officer, Walters Kamaya.

“The total of new applications in the categories of orphans, vulnerable children and children with disability can reach up to 30 000 per year. It is important to note that applications are done by the parent or caregiver, so one application can include one or more children. Therefore the number of children within the application outweigh the number of applications,” Kamaya said.

He added that it is also important to note that the Office of the President and the state have declared war against poverty and all efforts and resources are pulled together to address areas which are directly linked to poverty alleviation of which children’s grants is of such. Applications are compiled and verified on the regional level and submitted to head office of the MGECW for approval and processing on the system by ministerial staff in the constituencies, regions, and at the national level.

The Villager understands that the MGECW has been receiving more applications for social grants for OVC each year and the National Plan of Action (NPA) for OVCs, launched in 2007, identifies concrete actions in support of the goals of the national policy on OVCs. The NPA provides targets and activities in five strategic areas namely Rights and Protection; Education; Care and Support; Health and Nutrition; Management and Networking, The Villager found.

The current Education Sector Policy (ESP), for OVC builds on this foundation, providing additional detail and guidance on how the sector will meet the needs of OVC. The current policy is set within the framework of an overarching national and sectoral enabling environment that would facilitate the implementation of the current provisions.

A child is classified as orphan or vulnerable when his or her parents or caregivers have insufficient resources to provide shelter, clothing, sufficient food or to provide for the other needs to the children in their care; if living in a household headed by a child or living on the street.

Those that are neglected or abused by his or her parents or caregivers; is in emotional need due to illness or death of a significant person in their life  or are in the habit of abusing substances in the household are also regarded as OVS as well as the victims of domestic violence or other difficulties related to the household.

Others are children who are in conflict with the law; are affected by or infected with HIV or AIDS; not regularly attending school due to the burden of responsibilities in the home or other reasons; have disabilities or learning difficulties; are members of an indigenous minority; are subjected to labour that is exploitative, hazardous or otherwise; inappropriate for his or her age, detrimental to schooling due to physical, mental, spiritual or moral development.

A child is classified as orphan or vulnerable when his or her parents or caregivers have insufficient resources to provide shelter, clothing, sufficient food or to provide for the other needs to the children in their care; if  living in a household headed by a child; living on the street ; is neglected or abused by his or her parents or caregivers; is in emotional need due to illness or death of a significant person in their life ;substance abuse in the household, domestic violence or other difficulties related to the household; is in conflict with the law ; is affected by or infected with HIV or AIDS; is not regularly attending school due to the burden of responsibilities in the home or other reasons; has disabilities or learning difficulties ; is a member of an indigenous minority; is subjected to labour that is exploitative, hazardous or otherwise ;inappropriate for his or her age, detrimental to schooling due to  physical, mental, spiritual or moral development.

However the Clinical Physiologist Dr Shaun Whittaker told The Villager that the amount given might be appreciated but is not enough to keep a plate on the table for OVC for the whole month.

“I think it helps in some ways but I would not say that it is enough for children. What I am implying is that some of it might help with food for three days as the cost of living is so high that even N$250 will only buy three or even two items in a shop. What I can say is that it would be better if grants were given in the form of food items, than one would have looked at it differently. On the other hand, most, if not all, grants are given to caretakers or guardians and who know how they spend this money,” Whitaker said.

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The clinical physiologist noted that the situation is aggravated by the fact that some guardians and caretakers are unemployed and thus the entire household might depend on the social grants given to an orphan or vulnerable child in the house.