NAMIBIA: NGO begins basic food distributions in ongoing drought
[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
JOHANNESBURG, 7 October (PLUSNEWS) - Catholic AIDS Action is to begin distributing rations of fortified E-Pap and maize meal to people affected by HIV/AIDS and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Namibia, the group told IRIN on Tuesday.
Martin Zee Albert, logistics coordinator with Catholic AIDS Action, told IRIN a donation from the US-based Catholic Relief Services (CRS) had made the intervention possible.
Ongoing drought and floods have badly affected households in most of the country's regions. The Emergency Management Unit had earlier told IRIN that some 400,000 people would require state food aid this year, as erratic weather conditions had led to widespread crop failures and the erosion of household coping mechanisms.
Albert told IRIN that the Catholic AIDS Action intervention would specifically target "people registered with our organisation, OVCs, as well as volunteers" working for the NGO.
He estimated that about 5,000 people could be assisted by the project, which received US $100,000 in funding support from CRS.
The distribution of rations would include E-Pap, a fortified porridge, and ordinary maize meal.
"With the E-Pap, all you need to do is add hot water [to prepare it], and it contains vitamins and proteins [which helps] people who are already weakened [by HIV/AIDS]. We will send the bags of E-Pap to our offices in the regions - we have 14 offices in the regions. The maize meal will be procured locally and distributed to beneficiaries," he said.
The NGO uses Roman Catholic-affiliated groups and institutions to inspire and support programmes for HIV/AIDS prevention, home-based care, spirituality, and orphans. It was founded in 1998 and now has over 1,600 trained and active volunteers.