Expanding the Social Protection System
Namibia is one of the few African countries with a comprehensive and entirely government-funded social protection system, including Basic State Grants, Child Welfare Grants and War Veteran Grants. Child welfare grants have rapidly expanded over the past decade and are now reaching 145,000 children.
Child welfare grants, being targeted primarily towards orphans, have very limited impact on child poverty rates. Simulations of NHIES 2009/10 survey data show, however, that an expansion of child welfare grants to all poor and vulnerable children would have tremendous impact on child poverty rates, reducing child poverty from 34% to 9% and virtually eliminating extreme child poverty.
The UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights as well as the Concluding Observations of the CRC Committee recommended the introduction of a universal child welfare grant. While NDP 4 makes a commitment to the gradual expansion of child welfare grants to all children in Namibia. This will require substantial additional government resources, a reform of the current administrative structure as well as close integration with the birth registration system.
NSA 2012, Child Poverty in Namibia; MGECW database and information
By the end of 2018 an institutionalized social protection system, with adequate financial resources, will progressively support all families with children.
UNICEF in Action
One out of every three Namibian children grows up in a poor household. If poverty is not addressed at an early age, it risks being passed onto the next generation, perpetuating a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Namibia is addressing child poverty through child grant system and is now planning to extend the grant to all children. A universal child grant would lower child poverty from the current 34% to 9% and eliminate extreme child poverty.
Reducing child poverty has a profound positive impact on the child, their family and the rest of society. It breaks the cycle of social exclusion and builds a generation of educated and productive adults. UNICEF is strongly committed to reducing child poverty in Namibia. It aims to help the Government build an adequately resourced social protection system by 2018 that progressively supports all families with children.