Gender ministry spends N.dollars 3.4 billion on grants in 2023/24

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare has spent a total of N.dollars 3.4 billion on old age, disability, orphans and vulnerable children grants during the 2023/2024 financial year. Giving an update on the ministerial performance for the 2023/2024 financial year here on Monday, line minister Doreen Sioka said the grants led to a total coverage of 208 170 old age beneficiaries, 53 835 disability grants and 377 743 Orphans and vulnerable children. She further highlighted that the ministry has successfully converted the food bank programme from an in-kind food parcel into a cash transfer in April 2022, to what is known as a Conditional Basic Income grant of which a total of 8 907 households have benefitted to a total expenditure of N.dollars 81.3 million. 'The goal of this programme is to contribute to Namibians' social and economic upliftment while eliminating poverty through adequate and durable safety nets,' she said. Sioka further highlighted that 2 835 marginal ised community learners were successfully transported to and from hostels in all 10 regions where marginalized communities are found, while 308 marginalised students have access to institutions of higher learning through the ministry's interventions and 287 were paid living allowance. Equally, she noted the ministry provided support to 265 students with disabilities to cover their tuition accommodation, transport and other needs to the tune of N.dollars 7.5 million, while 800 persons with severe disabilities from various regions were assisted with diapers, formula milk and portable toilets amounting to N.dollars 4 million. Sioka indicated that the ministry provided psychosocial support services to 1 200 children hosted at the Namibian Children's Home and After School Centres in Windhoek, while at the regional level, 3 200 children received psychosocial support. Equally, she noted the ministry provided food supplements to 29 000 households across the 10 regions where marginalised communities live. 'The min istry remains committed to ensure that it implements and strengthens the programme under its mandate,' she said. Source: The Namibia Press Agency