579,000 Namibians face severe food insecurity



About 579,000 people in Namibia, accounting for 22 percent of the population, are currently grappling with severe acute food insecurity, according to the Livelihood 2023/24 Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (VAA) report released Wednesday.

In a statement, I-Ben Nashandi, executive director of the Office of the Prime Minister, expressed deep concern, saying that these numbers are deeply distressing and emphasizing the urgent need for concerted efforts to alleviate the food crisis.

During the months from July to September, an estimated 579,000 individuals are teetering on the edge of desperation, classified under IPC Phase 3 or higher, and requiring urgent humanitarian assistance, Nashandi said.

The report highlights that most households are without substantial food reserves, with a majority indicating stocks that last less than a month. Nashandi said that even those who had stocks sufficient for one to three months have now depleted their resources.

The dire situation is exacerbated by widespread financial hardship, driven by a lack of income and high unemployment rates, making the procurement of food an increasingly insurmountable challenge for many families, he said.

The report projects that between October 2023 and March 2024, the number of people experiencing acute food insecurity is projected to surge to 695,000, encompassing 26 percent of the nation’s population.

To address the crisis, the Office of the Prime Minister will launch a drought relief program from Oct. 1 through June 2024.

The drought relief program includes food distribution, water provision, and livestock support measures, such as marketing incentives, grazing lease subsidies, transport subsidies to grazing areas, and fodder purchase subsidies.

The 2023/24 VAA was conducted between May and July and covered both urban and rural areas in all 14 regions.


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