Cuba supports Namibian government to combat hunger

Source:  Granma
July 6 2016

by: Cubaminrex | internet@granma.cu

The President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr. Hage Geingob inaugurated the Namibia Food Bank, one of the most important social programs in the history of this country, which is seeking to create a hunger-free society

namibia food bank.jpg

Photo: Ciubaminrex

The President of the Republic of Namibia, Dr. Hage Geingob inaugurated the Namibia Food Bank, one of the most important social programs in the history of this country, which is seeking to create a hunger-free society.

The project guarantees monthly food assistance to those most in need. Participating in the launch was first Cuban Ambassador to the Africa nation, Angel Dalmau Fernández who has been serving as an advisor to the implementation process of the Ministry of Social Well-Being and Eradication of Poverty’s Food Bank.

During its initial phase the program will benefit almost 6,000 families and a total of 27,500 citizens from the first of the seven most impoverished municipalities across the capital, and will gradually be implemented around the rest of the country. The food basket contains corn flour, meat, canned fish, oil and sugar among other products.

The program also provides training for community activists, who will be responsible for identifying beneficiaries of the Food Bank and ensuring the project is correctly implemented.

presidents of namibia and cuba.jpgSpeaking at the inauguration President Geingob highlighted Cuba’s organizational contribution to the project, thanking the island’s people and government for their support following Geingob’s request to President Raúl Castro to expand cooperation ties, made during his visit to the island in September, 2015.

fidel's painting in Namibia.jpgThe inauguration was held in the Fidel Castro Ruz Elementary School attended by 1,200 students, in the poor neighborhood of Katutura.
(CubaMinrex/ EmbaCuba Namibia)

 

One thought on “Cuba supports Namibian government to combat hunger

  1. Namibia’s Battle to End Hunger with Cuba’s Solidarity

    Here is another area in which the Cuban Revolution is contributing to progress in the world and specifically Namibia in this case in the fight against hunger.

    There are some important reasons within which to frame Cuba’s assistance to the government and people of Namibia.

    However, it is critical to indicate that Cuba’s internationalist disposition to assist Namibia was initiated by the policy quest of the latter to end hunger in its complementary mission to achieve food security and development.

    So, why it is so important that Namibia combats hunger and achieves food security for Namibians?

    First of all, as a sovereign nation, the credibility of Namibia’s independence among other things will depend on two interrelated goals. First, it will depend on Namibia’s ability to mobilize its resources to produce and distribute foods to feed its people. Second, it will also rest on the country’s willingness to replace the structures of food dependence and exploitation with structures to develop its capacity to eliminate hunger over very long periods of time.

    Simply put Namibia’s independence has to be measured among other things by its capacity to feed its people since independence is meaningless when millions of Namibians are hungry and desperate in their own country.

    Secondly, to develop its capacity to prevent hunger, Namibia is not only developing its potential to wipe out this horrible scourge that afflicts its people as a legacy of colonialism and neocolonialism but its objective is also premised on the practice of excellent economics.

    The fact is that hunger in any country creates attendant social, economic and political problems such as malnourishment, stunted growth, learning and intellectual deficiencies, political hostilities, instability, greater budgetary outlays for health care, increased poverty, long term dependence on foreigners for food security, among others.

    Consequently, the medium to long term payoffs of investing in food security on the part of Namibia today is being ” pound wise” in the long term instead of being “penny wise” today by buying cheap food from abroad instead of producing it with the idle hands, land and capital within Namibia.

    Thirdly, as the latter indicates, Namibia’s decision to become food secure by combating hunger will provide an opportunity for it to address a perennial problem endemic to dependent capitalist nations like Namibia, namely, it’s inefficiency or waste of resources such as land, labor and capital.

    Thus as the policy thrust of the Namibian government with the help of the Cuban government to combat hunger intensifies and widens across the country, it is expected that more idle land, labor and capital will find productive use to feed the nation.

    Fourthly, as Namibia seeks to combat hunger and to become strategically food secured as a dignified nation, the country and its people will also get an opportunity to potentially create more value added, more jobs, incomes and wealth within the domestic economy. In short, Namibia, to the extent that it’s food security project is a strategic and extensive one will create the capacity to foster what development economists term the necessary “backward-forward linkages” between its agricultural sector and the other sectors in the economy such as manufacturing, transportation, education, health and others. The forging of these linkages will mean that the raw output of say corn would be processed into corn oil within the Namibian economy thus creating more value-added, employment and incomes for Namibians and as such reducing the import bill for corn and corn oil from abroad.

    Indeed, Namibia could develop the potential to become a net exporter of certain foods over time given suitable relative price incentives for export of foods versus import of foods between Namibia and other countries in Africa and the rest of the global economy. The latter possibilities could potentially contribute to a process that could break the cycle of structural dependence for its food supply on primarily western countries that was forged by colonialism and still being forged by neocolonialism.

    A fifth reason to join in unshaken solidarity with the project of the Namibian government and people in their goal to end hunger and be self-sufficient in food production is that if successful, their battle to achieve food sufficiency could be used as a model for the rest of Africa and other developing countries.

    However, there should be no doubt that like development itself, the achievement of food security and an end to hunger so integral to development involve multiple political, social, economic, cultural and technological challenges that hopefully the Namibian model could potentially elucidate for itself as well as to other nations, particularly developing ones with similar structural legacies of colonial and neocolonial plunder and dependence.

    The foregoing pointers are only a few of the potential benefits that may await Namibia to the extent that its goal to combat hunger is strategic and seriously intended to confront the multinational agricultural corporations which will inevitably sabotage any program to regulate their size and role in the local economy given their vested interests to profit from hunger.

    The fact is that the economic interests of multinational agribusinesses is to make money by producing and distributing foods through markets at prices that typically lock out the poor who are unable to buy foods at market prices.

    “Them belly full but wi hungry
    A hungry man is an angry man” Bob Marley

    ” Peace begins when the hungry is fed”

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