Still a long way to redress social imbalances - Geingob

26 Sep 2013 06:00
WINDHOEK, 26 SEP (NAMPA) – Prime Minister, Dr Hage Geingob says there is still a long way to go to redress the social imbalances in the country, which were caused by systems that were meant to favour only one section of the population.
Therefore, Geingob said, the scale-up of safety nets in the country should focus on programmes that are well targeted and provide the most needed benefits, while gradually reducing regressive or ineffective programmes.
The premier was speaking at the official opening of the Bank of Namibia’s 15th Annual Symposium, which was held under the theme: 'Social safety nets in Namibia: Assessing current programmes and future options.'
According to the 2010 Income and Expenditure Survey, Namibia’s social safety net was comprised of pension (12.1 per cent); state child maintenance grant (0.8 per cent); disability grant at 0.7 per cent; foster care at 0.3 per cent; war veterans at 0.1 per cent and drought relief assistance at 0.5 per cent.
In total, about 13.6 per cent of the population is covered, benefiting about 300 000 Namibians.
This does not cover the full range of the available social safety nets in the country, such as maternity, sick and death benefits offered by Social Security Commission (SSC).
However, Geingob said there is still a long way to go to redress the social imbalances in the country.
“In order to achieve this, it is critical to improve monitoring and evaluation systems. Often times we have excellent policies and programmes in place but fail to match them with excellence in monitoring and evaluation,” he said.
“For our social protection mechanism to be robust, we need better core data on the number and types of beneficiaries reached as well as information about program outcomes in terms of their impact,” he added.
This information, he said, is critical in order to improve programme design and coordination, to inform decision makers and to attract financial resources and donor support.