Namibian budget: Social sector gets lion’s share

APA-Windhoek (Namibia)

Namibia’s social sector receives the lion’s share of the 2019/20 national budget at N$29.6 billion, according to a senior government official.

The overall budget totals N$66.5 billion (US$4.61 billion), a 2.0 percent increase from the previous year, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein announced in the National Assembly on Wednesday afternoon.

The ministry of Basic Education receives N$13.8 billion, followed by the ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation that receives N$3.1 billion.

Health and Social services is allocated N$6.9 billion, and N$3.6 billion for the poverty eradication and social welfare is allocated N$3.6 billion.

Schlettwein noted that the allocations “reflect the government’s commitment to investing in the youth and human capital development as the central driver for sustainable development and poverty reduction over time.”

He said a 2.3 percent increase to the health budget “is to support procurement of pharmaceuticals, recruitment of additional health personnel, combating public health outbreaks and maintaining health infrastructure.”

In addition, the Finance minister stressed that social safety nets form the first line of defense against poverty for the vulnerable and the veterans of Namibia’s liberation struggle, with allocations maintained in real terms to guard against inflationary creep.

Given the high dependence ratio and the challenging effects of the cost of living at household level, the old age pension has been increased by N$50.00 to N$1,250 per month.


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