WFP Namibia Country Brief, April 2021

Situation Report
Originally published


In Numbers

US$ 5.0 million six-month (May – October 2021) net funding requirements

Operational Updates

Zambezi Farmers’ Market Day WFP

Namibia held its 2021 first quarterly performance review in Katima Mulilo, Zambezi Region from 26-28 April 2021. The main objectives of the review were to assess the progress made, opportunities that exist, and challenges experienced, as well as lessons learnt during the implementation of the first quarter of 2021 Country Strategic Plan (CSP). The review was attended by WFP staff, external stakeholders, including the UN agencies such as FAO and UNFPA Country Representatives as well as senior government officials from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture (MoEAC), and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reforms (MAWLR). Chief Regional Officers of Zambezi, Kavango East and Kavango West regions and a team of young professionals (WIZZ KIDS) from various fields also attended the meeting. The attendance of the external stakeholders provided an opportunity for WFP to reflect on external views on its technical assistance to the Government of Namibia to better support food and nutrition initiatives in the country. The platform also provided an opportunity for dialogue on potential game changers that could be integrated for improved impact in the current programmes and new insight on potential high-value initiatives. WFP intends to continue with this approach to enhance its accountability and forge strong partnerships with key stakeholders.

Support to Smallholder Farmers

Smallholder farmers are the backbone of numerous economies in Africa even though their potential is often not acknowledged. WFP, through its food system initiative, supported the Zambezi Farmers Market Day, which brought together producers and consumers in a family-friendly atmosphere. The objective of the market day was to support smallholder farmers in organizing themselves into cooperatives as well as to unlock market access including support services such as finance. Farmers networked among themselves as well as with the service providers and had the opportunity to showcase and sell their produce to the communities. The farmers’ market day served as a benchmark for the Government to replicate the event to other regions and to support similar initiatives organized for smallholder farmers. The Government has called upon WFP to provide technical support in this initiative.

Namibia School Feeding Programme

The Namibia school feeding programme remains one of Namibia’s key social protection safety nets programmes targeting the education sector. This programme was also prioritised in the second Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPPII) and will be expanded into secondary schools. In response to the severe drought, WFP supported an emergency school feeding programme for Kunene region. This support was provided through the procurement of dry take-home rations for 19 schools, targeting 3000 learners. The distribution of take-home rations will continue when schools reopens for the second term. To prepare for the implementation of the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) pilot, a scoping assessment was undertaken in Kunene region. Training and HGSFP orientation workshop for MoEAC senior management was also provided. About 300,000 primary school children are expected to benefit from HGSFP.

Digital Transformation

WFP is supporting the Government’s digital transformation agenda to improve beneficiary registrations, distributions, reconciliation, and reporting for the Food Bank Programme. These system improvements have positively supported management and policy decision-making processes. Through improved capacity transfer, the Government has been able to manage system operations with minimal support from WFP. Going forward, WFP plans to support the Government in scaling up and expanding digitalization to more regions. Other activities include supporting integration to accommodate other new systems, including supporting the Government with new opportunities such as the “Basic Income Grant” that allows it to start on the digital transformation platform. To ensure success of this agenda, there is a need for strong partnerships with the private sector to support the digital transformation. A consultant will join the WFP team to undertake the system integration task. The consultant will work with OPM and MGEPESW in a tripartite agreement to review current systems, design, and deliver an integrated digital platform that caters for all the social safety net programmes delivered by Government.

Cash-Based Transfer

WFP is implementing the cash-based transfer (CBT) to 6,900 identified beneficiaries in Khomas and Omusati region. The objective of the intervention is to provide food assistance to foodinsecure households affected by shocks through CBT to increase their access to adequate food and nutrition during the aftermath of crises. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Poverty Eradication, Gender Equality and Social Welfare to facilitate the implementation of the fund to the beneficiaries is at an advanced stage of signing. The MoU will serve as a framework that will guide cooperation between WFP and the Government.

Cost of Hunger in Africa and Fill-the Nutrient Gap

WFP is implementing the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) study and Fill the Nutrient (FNG) analysis as part of evidence-generation and analysis required to support hunger-related programming and policy formulation efficient. The preliminary results from the studies have been completed and the engagement with key national stakeholders is ongoing. The reports are expected to be finalized by July 2021.

Harambee Prosperity Plan 11

The Namibian Government has produced the second Harambee Prosperity Plan (HHP II) covering the period 2021-2025, following the expiry of the first Plan (HHP1) in 2020. HHP II is a mediumterm action plan of the Government that is geared towards economic recovery and inclusive growth, especially considering the current COVID-19 pandemic and other myriads of socioeconomic challenges facing the country. WFP will continue to support the Government in the implementation of its priority areas as highlighted in the country’s national development plans