Calls for improved disability grants increase

Niël Terblanchéfor

In a recent appeal, the National Federation for Persons with Disabilities in Namibia, led by Chairperson Mathew Hashoongo, has urged the government to fulfill President Hage Geingob’s commitment to raising disability grants from N$1,400 to N$3,000.

This push for an increase reflects a broader call for enhanced support for individuals living with disabilities, including the alignment of disability grants with the proposed increments.

According to the association, notable strides were made towards supporting vulnerable groups within Namibia under President Geingob’s leadership.

In April 2023, the government announced a significant increase in the disability grant for children under the age of 18, from N$250 to N$1,400 per month.

This move was part of a broader initiative to strengthen support for children with disabilities, indicating the government’s commitment to bolstering social safety nets.

Alexia Manombe-Ncube, the Deputy Minister of Gender Equality, Poverty Eradication, And Social Welfare along with Angelique Philander, the Chief Executive Officer of the National Disability Council of Namibia, have both recognized and applauded Geingob’s efforts in advocating for the rights and inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

Throughout his tenure, Geingob was instrumental in several initiatives aimed at enhancing the lives of disabled persons, including appointing an advisor on disability and ensuring the Namibian constitution was available in Braille.

The government’s dedication to social welfare was further demonstrated through the increase of grants for vulnerable groups in last year’s national budget that was presented under the “Economic Revival and Care for the Poor”.

This included an increase in the old age, disability, and orphan and vulnerable children (OVCs) grants by N$100 per month.

Last year’s budget reflected a comprehensive approach to social protection and aimed to address the basic needs of the people and uplift them from poverty.

The budgetary allocation into improving state grants was a significant investment in the country’s social safety nets.

These initiatives emphasized the late President’s vision for a Namibia where all citizens, regardless of their disabilities, are given equal opportunities and support.

According to Hashoongo, the ongoing efforts to increase disability grants align with Geingob’s commitment to inclusivity and his vision of support for the most vulnerable members of society.

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