Tourism gets US$15m fillip from Germany

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Timo Shihepo

Windhoek - Namibia’s tourism sector this week got a R250 million (about US$15 million) from the German government, which will be used to combat the ill effects of COVID-19 on the key economic driver.

The country’s tourism sector has shed more than 20,000 jobs and lost millions in revenue in recent months as governments restrict travel as a virus control measure.

The Federation of Namibian Tourism Associations says a further 10,000 jobs are on the line should robust interventions not be made.

This week, Germany’s government extended R250 million Namibia through the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism to assist in mitigating the pressures brought to bear on conservation and tourism in general.

The funds will be made available through KfW Development Bank to the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism through its Conservation Relief, Recovery, and Resilience Facility.

About R95,5 million (nearly US$6 million) will be channelled to the Poverty Oriented Support to Human-Wildlife Conflict Management Project implemented by the Community Conservation Fund of Namibia.

Funds will be used to secure employment of game wardens and other people in communities living around conservation areas, as well as to support the implementation of human-wildlife conflict mitigation and prevention measures.

About R76,4 million (approximately US$4,6 million) has been earmarked for National Parks and other protected areas to assist them to minimise the ecological and economic impacts of COVID-19. These measures are to be implemented through the existing NamParks V Project, and the funds are meant to ensure the continuation of anti-poaching and wildlife crime prevention measures, and to finance patrols and implementation of park regulations.

Of the total sum, another R76,4 million (approximately US$4,6 million) will be directed to the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA) within the context of mitigating the impact of COVID-19.

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