Although Namibia is a middle-income country (MIC), it has the highest measured income disparity in the world: some parts of the country experience extreme poverty on par with conditions in its poorer neighbouring countries such as Malawi and Mozambique. Namibia’s economy is tied closely to South Africa’s due to their shared history. Its largest economic sectors are mining, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. Namibia has a high unemployment rate estimated to be 51.2% in 2008. More than a quarter of the population lives below the international poverty line of USD 1.25 a day.
The country suffered severe dry conditions during 2013, and on 17 May the President of Namibia declared a national drought emergency. Due to the dry spell’s harsh consequences on crops and agriculture, the amount of people at risk of food insecurity increased by 900%, from 75,000 to 779,000 during 2013. A National Drought Emergency Response Plan (July 2013 – March 2014) was drafted by the Namibian Directorate of Disaster Risk Management with the support of humanitarian partners. Early 2014 forecasts and assumptions are pessimistic over the food security and drought conditions in the country.
Since 2007, OCHA ROSA has supported various activities in Namibia, including:
- Deployment in 2009 and 2011 to assess flood impacts;
- Supporting the UNRC in coordination to address food insecurity and development of CERF applications and Flash Appeals for floods;
- Supporting in the establishment of a cluster system from preparedness and response and provided various capacity building to partners such as Training on multi-sectoral rapid assessment;
- Facilitating disaster simulation training and exercise for the Government and international partners;
- Facilitating the deployment of a Protection and Human Rights Preparedness (ProCAP) mission.