25 Feb 2016 15:41pm
OKAHANDJA, 25 FEB (NAMPA) Governments role is to ensure that high food prices do not continue to put pressure on vulnerable households coping capacity, Deputy Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Christine //Hoabes says.
She said this on Wednesday at the end of a two-day Zero Hunger Strategic Review Validation meeting in Okahandja.
//Hoabes however said Namibia might have to continue relying on food imports for some time to meet its food deficits.
This means that commodity prices will be at the mercy of external factors such as conflicts, the foreign exchange rate and food prices in the region and beyond.
She also noted the OPM will continue to maximise the impact of Governments food assistance programme to ensure that people who are affected by natural disasters are supported until wealth redistribution initiatives improve their conditions.
//Hoabes explained they are looking at how social assistance programmes could be made effective by linking them to other programmes, such as those focusing on nutrition and agriculture.
As a result, we are enhancing our capacity for food security monitoring and vulnerability analysis to have a better understanding of household food security trends and what is required to address food insecurity when it occurs.
Bience Gawanas, Special Advisor in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, who also spoke at the meeting, explained how the lack of coordination between different stakeholders surfaced during the meeting and how reviewing policies is important.
Its not as if we are now proposing new strategies or policies. We do not always do impact assessments of our policies and programmes to really know their impact and then to review it if its not a good strategy. If it is good, you want to continue with it but if its bad, you would want to stop it, she said.
The Zero Hunger Strategic Review meeting was conducted by the Namibian Government in partnership with the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP).
The Zero Hunger Strategic Review was officially launched in September 2015 to support the Governments prioritisation of achieving a hunger-free Namibia by 2025, in line with President Hage Geingobs declaration of war on poverty and hunger, and Namibias commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.