31 May 2013 09:00
WINDHOEK, 31 MAY (NAMPA) - The American Government has provided a grant of about N.dollars 508 000 (US dollars 50 000) to the Namibian Red Cross Society (NRCS) to provide immediate relief to drought victims in the Kunene Region.
The Public Affairs? Officer in the United States Embassy here, Anthony Deaton, said in a media release on Thursday that the grant from the United States? Agency for International Development (USAID) will enable the NRCS to purchase essential supplies such as water purification tablets and water containers, as well as to help repair boreholes.
?The grant comes from the USAID/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), which responds to crises all over the world, and will target the hardest-hit communities in the Kunene Region,? he noted.
The assistance is in response to the 17 May declaration of a State of Emergency by President Hifikepunye Pohamba due to the persistent drought across the country, and his appeal to the international community for assistance to those in need.
Namibia, already the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa, is experiencing a severe drought, with some regions receiving the lowest seasonal rainfall in three decades, according to figures released by the country?s Meteorological Service this week.
Between 300 000 and 400 000 people, and 1.5 million livestock are affected by the drought.
Pohamba in 2012 already declared the Kunene Region drought-stricken, and there has been no improvement in the situation as very little rain was received in the region this year.
Poor grazing conditions have also threatened the livestock in the country, and more than 4 000 cattle have reportedly died countrywide due to the drought.
The Namibia Crop Prospect and Food Security Situation Report issued by the Namibia Early Warning and Food Information Unit (NEWFIU) in March 2013 warned that the food security situation is weakening in the country.
Poor rainfall has been dominating the rainy season since its start in October last year up to February 2013.