By Staff Reporter WINDHOEK Food distribution to orphans and vulnerable children in the north of the country will resume on Monday after the programme ran out of food commodities. The programme, which is benefiting OVC in Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana, Oshikoto, Caprivi and Kavango, started in April 2006 after the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare signed a memorandum of understanding in April to provide temporary relief for chronically food-insecure OVC who were not benefiting from government grants. There are about 111ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000 OVC in these regions who are receiving the food assistance. In the Omusati, Oshana and Oshikoto, one in every 10 children has only one parent. The distributions, planned to continue until December 2007, stopped between mid-December until now because of lack of foodstuffs to hand out to the beneficiaries. Sirkka Ausiku, Permanent Secretary of Gender Equality, yesterday told a consultative workshop in Ondangwa, which aimed at reviewing progress of the programme made so far, that over 70ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000 beneficiaries are now registered and benefiting from the food distributions. As of January, over 56ÃƒÆ’Ã†’Ãƒâ€ ‘ÃƒÆ’ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒ…ÃƒÆ’Ã†”Ã…Â¡ÃƒÆ’Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â 000 children have been receiving grants. The two-day workshop aims at discussing modalities on how the stakeholders can improve the programme in terms of how to reach targets with food provision on time, how to transfer them from food assistance to the grants system, and alternative programmes. With the launch of the programme in April 2006, Namibia has been integrated into the WFP’s regional operations for southern Africa, which provides food assistance to populations vulnerable to food insecurity and the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
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