14 Dec 2013 11:00am
GOBABIS, 14 DEC (NAMPA) - Cabinet has given the green light to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare to launch an atlas containing a database of orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) in Namibia.
The atlas, which will be launched on a yet-to-be-determined date, is expected to provide sufficient information on OVCs in Namibia, including the available services and organisations supporting OVCs.
Cabinet gave the nod for the launch and release of the OVC Atlas at its 15th Ordinary session in October this year.
This is contained in a Cabinet release on the ordinary session sent to the media.
The OVC Atlas is an initiative of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, which embarked on a Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping exercise by developing an OVC geo-database system to improve the coordination and planning of the ministrys programmes.
The atlas presents an introduction to OVC and children-mapping in Namibia such as datasets and inventory in various formats and maps. It includes an analysis on the different types of services for OVC.
According to figures on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) against children released by Cabinet, more cases of GBV have been recorded in north-eastern, central and southern regions. Windhoek has the highest prevalence of sexual abuse among children.
The 2011 Census sets the number of children below the age of 18 at 956 634, of which 150 589 are orphans. The Ohangwena Region has the highest number of orphans and vulnerable children (27 245), followed by Omusati (25 307), Kavango (19 388) and Oshikoto with 16 285.
Consequently, the numbers of child-headed households in these regions are also high.
The Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare provides maintenance grants to some 120 156 orphans, while 5 618 receive special maintenance grants. Another 19 726 children receive foster care grants under the same ministry.
Currently, it is only orphans who are covered on the grant system. Vulnerable children, especially where parents are unemployed, are excluded until the Child Care and Protection Bill is enacted.