It is a pleasure to be here today together with the Honorable Prime Minister and the United Nations World Food Program to see the expansion of U.S. provided food assistance to an additional six regions. This assistance began in December in Kavango East and West regions and now will also support those most in need in Kunene, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto, Zambezi, and Omaheke regions.
Today’s delivery here in Oshana Region consists of 85 metric tons of food – maize meal, beans, and vegetable oil – and will feed more than 12,000 vulnerable individuals in drought-affected rural communities.
While Namibia is used to years of low rainfall, the last rainy season was far below average. Crops failed and livestock perished. According to the recently released Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, led by the Namibian Government, more than 430,000 Namibians face severe acute food insecurity.
Together with our partners and in collaboration with the Namibian Government, we will ensure that U.S. food assistance for drought relief goes to those who need it most.
I’d like to thank the Honorable Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila as well as Mr. BaiMankay Sankoh, Country Director of the United Nations’ World Food Program for their leadership and outstanding cooperation.
The UN World Food Program is an organization with decades of experience all over the globe in emergency assistance. WFP Country Director Sankoh, I thank you for ensuring that America’s food assistance is getting to Namibian beneficiaries as fast as possible.
The United States is delivering on its promise to help Namibia through the drought. America has committed $8.6 million U.S. dollars, which is $127 million Namibian dollars, to food assistance. In total, over the coming months, U.S. food assistance will help more than 350,000 Namibians.
I am proud to say that no nation has done more than the United States to help those worst affected by the drought in Namibia.
The relationship between our two nations extends well beyond this initiative. America and Namibia are also partnering to create more business opportunities and prosperity for all our citizens, to protect wildlife from poachers, to address health concerns, and to better our citizens’ lives in many other ways.
In the year 2020, we can proudly look back at 30 years of successful partnership between the United States and Namibia, which has been possible because of the unwavering support of Namibia’s leadership, and we thank you for that.
Our governments, partnering together, have tackled many challenges over the past decades – and I am convinced that together we also will successfully mitigate the ramifications of this terrible drought.