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Food bank arrives in Oshikoto

Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Zephania Kameeta 

Poverty eradication ministry launched the food bank programme in the Oshikoto region Wednesday.

In his keynote address during the launch of the Oshikoto food distribution at Tsumeb on Wednesday, said that addressing poverty hunger in Namibia, therefore, speaks to the basic building blocks of a caring nation.

Kameeta said household food insecurity is one of the major underlying causes of malnutrition, a situation that has led the World Health Organisation (WHO) to consider household food and nutrition security as a basic human right.

According to Kameeta, hunger is the lowest level of poverty.

“The establishment of Food Banks is one such way of addressing hunger, especially in the urban and peri-urban areas,” Kameeta said.

The launch of the food bank in Oshikoto comes after the pilot project launched by president Hage Geingob in Windhoek in June 2016.

The minister revealed that the poverty eradication ministry conducted an assessment in collaboration with the University of Namibia to evaluate the impact of the food bank on household food security and to guide future operations of the food bank programme in Namibia.

Kameeta said the key findings were that the food bank intervention has a significant impact on household food security; and that the scheme is effective in addressing hunger especially to beneficiaries with no formal employment, given the current socio-economic situation of the country.

He also said that about 90% of the beneficiaries were food insecure before the food bank intervention, but after the introduction of the Food Bank, 62% of those that were food insecure are now food secure.

“In terms of financial sustainability, the food bank programme will be affordable within the current budgetary allocations for the next three years, taking into account a 10% inflationary increase,” he said.

In Khomas region alone, Kameeta said, 15 519 households comprising of 67 987 people benefitted from the pilot food bank project.

Wonder Guchu

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