The United States Ambassador to Namibia delivered a consignment of maize meal, beans, and vegetable oil to Oshana region on 17 February 2020.
The 85 metric tons of food will be used to feed more than 12, 000 people in the region who are affected by the drought.
The food delivery forms part of the N$127 million in food assistance committed by the United States to the Namibian people.
In December 2019 food distribution started in the drought affected regions of Kavango East and Kavango West. And now the distribution is being extended to the six regions of Oshana, Oshikoto, Omusati, Omaheke, Zambezi and Kunene.
“The United States is delivering on its promise to help Namibia through the drought. In total over the coming months, U.S. food assistance will help more than 350, 000 Namibians,” said US Ambassador to Namibia Ms Lisa Johnson.
The Ambassador was accompanied to Ondangwa by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila.
Oshana Governor Elia Irimari expressed his gratitude for the donation, and said the current drought has had serious effect on the social and economic well-being of his people.
“Livestock and crops alike have been lost and livelihoods for most farming households destroyed. In light of this, our immediate concern is to save lives, to ensure that the people that need assistance most are reached and supported,” Irimari stated.
“The skies finally opened up to us and let down quite some bit of rain in the last couple of weeks. The farmers responded by opening up their land and have sown their crop fields and we all anticipate a good harvest, come the harvest period. We hope and pray that the weather can sustain this crop and the livestock and enable people to regain their livelihoods.
“And although it has been raining in most parts of the country and the northern part of Namibia looks lush and green, food shortage and hunger continues to prevail. I wish to point out that the effects of this drought will persist and even get worse, as we draw closer to the harvest period. There isn’t therefore a better time for this assistance for the people most affected by the drought than now. This assistance is very timely.”
Meanwhile Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said the food is meant for people who are on Anti-Retroviral Treatment only.
“I wish to appeal to our communities to embrace this assistance and call on all those who would need this assistance to come forward and register at the nearest health facilities. By so doing we ensure that lives are protected,” she said.
IN THE PHOTO: Ambassador Johnson handing U.S. Government aid to the Shivolo family in Okaku village, Oshana Region.