Drought-related water and food shortages are posing a risk to many in Namibia, and the U.S. government is providing help.
Through the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, the U.S. will purchase eight water tanker trucks and promote community and school sanitation valued at $1.6 million (N$21 million) dollars. Additionally, USAID, with funding from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR, is rolling out $2.2 million dollars (N$28 million) for drought assistance activities to help malnourished HIV patients, pregnant and lactating women, orphans, and vulnerable children in food-insecure districts in Namibia with a high HIV burden.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Services, USAID will support the training of health extension workers to identify and refer HIV-positive individuals and vulnerable children that are malnourished. Referred clients will receive a medical assessment and, if needed, therapeutic nutritional feeding supplements, as well as counseling on improved nutrition and hygiene.
To support the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare's efforts, USAID will assist in expediting the registration of orphans and vulnerable children for social grants to mitigate the effect of drought on vulnerable children. In addition, USAID will work with the Office of the Prime Minister and UN organizations to ensure coordination, technical support, and sustainability of the response.
USAID anticipates providing nutrition screening and counseling to over 42,000 people living with HIV and providing food supplements to up to 14,000 vulnerable children. These drought assistance interventions support the existing PEPFAR and Namibian government program to meet the UNAIDS targets to combat HIV in the country. Since 2005, the U.S. government, through PEPFAR, has invested over $1.1 billion dollars (N$15 billion) in the Namibian health sector. In 2015, an additional $34 million (N$465 million) was dedicated to accelerate treatment for all in support of the Ministry of Health and Social Services' fight against HIV/AIDS.
The United States stands with its partner, Namibia, to help meet the urgent water and nutritional needs of the people of Namibia.