SA Govt. now working on pledge towards drought relief here

22 Jan 2014 14:40pm
WINDHOEK, 22 JAN (NAMPA) - The South African Government is now busy evaluating Namibia's needs and priorities with a view to structuring the N.dollars 100 million package of assistance which the country pledged last year towards drought relief in Namibia.
On 07 November 2013, visiting South African President Jacob Zuma pledged a package of N.dollars 100 million in cash and in kind towards Namibia’s drought relief efforts.
Clarifying the current developments in implementing Zuma's pledge, South Africa's High Commissioner to Namibia Mavivi Myakayaka-Manzini said her government is now busy working on the pledge package assistance for Namibia.
She said in a media statement issued here on Wednesday, the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and other relevant South African stakeholders are currently busy evaluating Namibia's needs and priorities with a view to structuring the package of assistance accordingly, in order to give effect to President Jacob Zuma’s pledge as soon as possible.
“Since early December 2013, both the South African and Namibian governments have been in discussions to facilitate the package of assistance that is aligned to the current needs and priorities of the Namibian Government’s Drought Relief Response Plan.
To give effect to this, the South African High Commission only received a list of the Namibian needs and priority areas to be covered by the N.dollars 100 million package on 30 December 2013,” she was quoted as saying in the statement.
The top South African diplomat further explained that these needs and priorities reflect the priority activities that cannot be supported in Namibia, and comprise activities such as, inter alia, the provision of technical assistance and expertise with boreholes, provision of water tankers, the procurement of agricultural seeds and products, and the procurement of food products for targeted feeding programmes.
Zuma made the pledge on 07 November last year shortly after the South African President and his Namibian counterpart, President Hifikepunye Pohamba, had discussions to the fact that Namibia is facing what has been described as the most severe drought to hit the country in 30 years.
Pohamba declared a state of emergency In May last year due to the devastating drought that has already led to the deaths of thousands of large and small livestock.
The nationwide drought has also affected over 300 000 people classified as food insecure.
Meanwhile, Namibia has so far received some good rainfalls since December last year, and it is hoped that this will lessen the effects of drought to the affected communities and animals in many parts of the country.