23 Aug 2016 10:20am
WINDHOEK, 23 AUG (NAMPA) About 21 000 people have so far benefitted from loans and financial grants issued by the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) of Namibia.
The financial assistance helped to create employment for nearly 390 people.
This is according to Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta, who made the revelation during the appointment of the new EIF board here on Monday.
We are talking about 21 000 people, that is a huge number of people, said Shifeta.
This figure, however, represents a mere 10 per cent of the applications received for funding in areas such as natural resource management, green technology, training and research, as well as tourism development.
In monetary terms, applications for loans and grants amounted to a combined N.dollars 340 million. The EIF however only managed to fund 19 per cent of the applications, equivalent to N.dollars 64.5 million.
Shifeta said this is mainly attributed to the magnitude of some of the projects applications were submitted for, as some demand more funds than others.
In October last year the fund had to temporarily suspend all applications due to a lack of funds.
Approached for comment, EIF Chief Executive Officer Benedict Libanda admitted that the fund faces notable financial obstacles in fulfilling their mandate.
Our budget is very low and now the market has grown. The applications we receive are a lot when you compare it to our available resources, Libanda told Nampa on Monday.
He went on to say the fund stands to benefit from close to N.dollars 300 million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) which might be approved in October this year.
The GCF is a fund within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The GCF aims to raise N.dollars 100 billion per year by 2020 to assist developing countries with funding through projects, policies and programmes to mitigate the impact of climate change.
As you are aware, Namibia is heavily affected by climate change and we have to access those resources to help our communities, farmers and people in rural areas to deal with the impact of climate change, Libanda said.
The EIF is an extension of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to safeguard environmental resources, driving efficiency and enhancing renewable energy use across the country.