WINDHOEK – Namibia has witnessed a reduction in the proportion of households classified as being in poverty, though the COVID-19 pandemic is hampering efforts to improve standards of living across the board.
This emerged as National Planning Commissioner Mr Obeth Kandjoze this week made public the latest Multidimensional Poverty Index compiled by the Namibia Statistics Agency.
Mr Kandjoze said the proportion of households that were poor went down from 27.6 percent in 2014 to 17.4 percent according to the most current available data.
He said major drivers of poverty were low income levels, income inequality and unemployment.
“The incidence of multidimensional poverty in Namibia is 43.3 percent. This is the proportion of people who are deprived in at least 30 percent of the weighted indicators. The intensity of multidimensional poverty is 44 percent, which means that on average, those who are multi-dimensionally poor are deprived of about 44 percent of the weighted population,” Mr Kandjoze said.
He said the Namibian Government had a well laid out plan to combat the spread of poverty but COVID-19 was denting these efforts.
“Poverty in Namibia is still a realistic challenge among the rural population and the country has an ongoing discussion on dealing with food security and availing of educational opportunities,” he added.
He continued: “As per the 5th National Development Plan, prioritising the alleviation of poverty in Namibia required accurate and in-depth understanding of the different dimensions of poverty that people face. The concept of sustainable development takes centre stage during national development planning in Namibia.”