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Brazil donates N$2,28m to food programme

The Brazilian government has donated US$120 000 (about N$2,28 million) to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Namibia to enhance food accessibility and alleviate malnutrition in five regions of the country.

According to a statement from the WFP, this is Brazil’s third donation to the programme and the funds come at a critical time when Namibia is grappling with the effects of drought, soaring food prices and the after effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The funds will be used to establish robust food systems within communities, schools and health centres in the Otjozondjupa, Omaheke, Hardap, Kunene and Ohangwena regions.

“What began in 2019 as a response to humanitarian assistance for the people of Namibia evolved into a second financial contribution in 2020, which was used to help five community-based food systems projects,” says Vivian Loss Sanmartin, the ambassador of Brazil to Namibia.

“The third donation this year represents Brazil’s commitment to continue supporting Namibia in the fight against food insecurity through transformative actions,” she says.

The ambassador says by investing in these areas, Brazil’s donation will play a pivotal role in addressing Namibia’s food insecurity and it will enable the establishment of sustainable mechanisms that ensure adequate nourishment for vulnerable populations.

The statement says the funds will support initiatives to promote long-term resilience against future food scarcity and malnutrition challenges.

“This generous financial support from Brazil resonates with Namibia’s national development goals in the agriculture sector, which seek to attain food and nutrition security at community and national levels,” says minister of agriculture, water and land reform Calle Schlettwein.

“This contribution will assist the beneficiary communities to produce their own food, thus becoming less dependent on food relief programmes,” he says.

The National Integrated Programme for Rural Transformation, spearheaded by the WFP in Namibia, revolves around fostering agricultural innovation and productivity, generating employment opportunities, nurturing the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, facilitating trade, expanding market access, and promoting value chain development.

“The WFP welcomes the continued support from the government of Brazil to scale up food systems initiatives while facilitating skills and knowledge transfer to targeted communities,” says Ericah Shafudah, the WFP’s acting country director in Namibia.

“The contribution will complement national efforts to transform rural livelihoods and create employment opportunities, particularly for the youth and women.”

The WFP in Namibia provides technical support to the government to improve the performance of food systems
to upscale local food production and achieve zero hunger. – email: [email protected]