By Hilary Mare
SOUTHERN Africa is one of the most food insecure regions in the world. Even before the world food price increases of 2007 and the global economic recession in 2008, the number of food insecure people in southern Africa was growing inexorably.
Until recently, there was an assumption that most of the region’s food insecure live in rural areas. Urban food insecurity has tended to be overlooked as international organisations and governments focus on increasing farm production and local authorities focus on other urban problems and challenges.
Essentially, this has been synonymous with Namibia and the advent of the Food Bank launched by President Hage Geingob has challenged that status quo and aims to improve the socio economic construct of the needy even those in the urban areas.
“As Government, our aim is to establish food banks in urban and peri-urban areas. The food bank initiative will involve a process of sourcing food and required non-food items and distributing these items to poor and vulnerable persons, making use of the street committees. This concept is merely based on the Cuban model but due to the fact that many of our local target areas don’t have streets per se, our committees will operate differently,” Geingob said at the launch.
Without doubt, the Food Bank is one of many interventions in the war against poverty. 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 Government’s Harambee Prosperity Plan.
The Food Bank is part of an integrated Poverty Eradication Strategy and to this end, Government will adopt a Graduation Model, which will assist vulnerable beneficiaries become self-reliant and engage in activities that can provide them with sustainable income.
Food banking emerged in the 1960s in Arizona, USA when John van Hengel decided to store food donations in a centralised warehouse where he could distribute food to the region’s hungry people.
The distribution of the food items will be done on a scheduled monthly basis, to the beneficiaries. The Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare will immediately start with the distribution of the food parcels in the pilot constituency of Tobias Hainyeko. The rollover to other constituencies in Khomas region will be done and is planned to be concluded by end December.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015