The pandemic has necessitated a more ambitious response to realizing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals in Namibia. This response has birthed a high-level stakeholder partnership between the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) in collaboration with the People of Japan and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Namibia. This partnership has resulted in the official launch of the Build Back Better (BBB) programme towards strengthening Namibia food systems to recover from emergencies and disease-related shocks.
Beneficiaries of the Build Back Better (BBB) programme will include 400 women and youth operating as small-scale farmers, individual producers and informal food vendors. The BBB programme, funded by the Government of Japan, is focused on encouraging horticultural crops production that addresses food sufficiency and nutritional deficiencies affecting urban communities. It is also targeted at improving the hygiene and sanitation of the informal food vendors and local food markets. The aim is to mitigate food security and nutrition needs of urban households, including the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, by supporting the livelihoods of the vulnerable through income-generating activities.
This multifaceted and integrated, leave-no-one-behind approach has commenced in four regions in Namibia; Erongo, Kavango, Khomas and Hardap, and will capacitate the respective municipalities to develop structures to handle the impact of the pandemic and such shocks in the future. Implementing the BBB project will pursue a human security approach that will promote multi-stakeholder partnerships across the public and private sectors, ensuring the effectiveness of delivering as one.
During the official launch of the BBB programme, Honourable Calle Schlettwein (Minister for Agriculture, Water and Land Reform) and Ms Alka Bhatia (United Nations Development Programme’s Resident Representative to Namibia) thanked the Government of Japan, through His Excellency Ambassador Hideaki Harada for the timely support towards building Namibia back better.