Govt ‘unable’ to pay orphan grants

Govt ‘unable’ to pay orphan grants

THE Ministry of Women Affairs and Child Welfare says it will be unable to pay a monthly grant to orphans this year because its funds are limited.

Last year Government provided N$10 million for an orphan’s fund, but to date it has not become operational. Motivating her Ministry’s budget allocation of N$106,7 million, Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah told the National Assembly on Monday that although systems had been put in place to ensure the proper administration of the fund, there were too many children to be able to pay grants.”If, for example, each of them is to get N$200 per month, an amount of N$34 million a year will be needed,” she said.”I would like to thank those members of our society, especially grandparents, for providing care and support to the orphans.”Currently, more than 14 000 orphans are entered in the Ministry’s database – registered according to region, constituency and school.In accordance with the 2001 National and Population Census, the Ministry estimates that there were about 115 000 orphans in Namibia in 2003.Noting that there had been no State allocation to the orphan’s fund for this financial year, Nandi-Ndaitwah appealed to the public to make contributions.The permanent task force would oversee the administration of the fund, while the Ministry would play the role of policy-maker she said.This year, more than half of the Ministry’s allocation will go to its Social Allowance and Welfare Programme, which is responsible for strengthening home-based care and support services to orphans and other vulnerable children (OVCs).As from April 1, the child welfare division of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare was transferred to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Child Welfare.This division also pays subsidies to five children’s institutions.At present, about 19 690 children benefit from maintenance grants and foster care allowances.This year, N$53 million is budgeted for children’s maintenance and foster care allowances.Motivating her Ministry’s budget allocation of N$106,7 million, Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah told the National Assembly on Monday that although systems had been put in place to ensure the proper administration of the fund, there were too many children to be able to pay grants.”If, for example, each of them is to get N$200 per month, an amount of N$34 million a year will be needed,” she said.”I would like to thank those members of our society, especially grandparents, for providing care and support to the orphans.”Currently, more than 14 000 orphans are entered in the Ministry’s database – registered according to region, constituency and school.In accordance with the 2001 National and Population Census, the Ministry estimates that there were about 115 000 orphans in Namibia in 2003.Noting that there had been no State allocation to the orphan’s fund for this financial year, Nandi-Ndaitwah appealed to the public to make contributions.The permanent task force would oversee the administration of the fund, while the Ministry would play the role of policy-maker she said.This year, more than half of the Ministry’s allocation will go to its Social Allowance and Welfare Programme, which is responsible for strengthening home-based care and support services to orphans and other vulnerable children (OVCs).As from April 1, the child welfare division of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare was transferred to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Child Welfare.This division also pays subsidies to five children’s institutions.At present, about 19 690 children benefit from maintenance grants and foster care allowances.This year, N$53 million is budgeted for children’s maintenance and foster care allowances.

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