The progression of Namibia from a least developed country (LDC) at independence to an upper-middle income country in 2012 has resulted in the loss of overseas development assistance.
Ned Sibeya from the National Planning Commission on Monday said foreign overseas assistance has dried up because of this reclassification. The World Bank defines middle-income economies as countries with a GNI per capital of more than US$1 045 but less than US$12 746.
He was speaking on behalf of Minister of Economic Planning and Planning Commission in the Presidency Tom Alweendo at a roundtable meeting organised by the Namibia Red Cross Society (NRCS) that gave an overview of Namibia’s humanitarian needs. The meeting also addressed chronic crises and sustaining humanitarian organisations in middle-income countries.
He said the National Planning Commission welcomed the NRCS’s initiative to map ways and means of addressing the effects of Namibia’s reclassification to upper middle-income country.
NPC also welcomed NRSC in efforts to address low economic growth, high rate of poverty, inequality and inequitable distribution of wealth and income as outlined in Vision 2030 including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other internationally agreed goals.
Acting head of the International Federation of Red Cross Southern Africa Zone Michael Charles said Namibia needs a disaster or a relief fund and a long-term partnership with the NRCS and the only way to strengthen post-crisis government functioning there is a need to formulate national policies and provide public information.
“We want to move on because of humanitarian space vulnerabilities such as poverty, health issues, behavioural issues and disasters,” he said.