Namibia has been making remarkable strides in enhancing its social protection systems for its citizens. This progress can be attributed to the United Nations Namibia's concerted efforts to build a more inclusive and comprehensive framework to provide social safety nets and ensure that no one is left behind.
Namibia's journey towards building more robust social protection systems began with the Joint SDG Fund’s “Strengthening Namibia’s Financing Architecture for Enhanced Quality & Scale of Financing for SDGs” joint programme, a collaboration between the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Population Fund, International Labour Organization and the government of Namibia. The United Nations recognized the need for a more cohesive and all-encompassing approach, leading to the development and launch of the Namibia Social Protection Policy in 2022.
This policy marks a significant step forward, as it seeks to create a comprehensive social protection system addressing risks and vulnerabilities throughout an individual's life cycle. The core emphasis is on ensuring that the various vulnerabilities faced by people, from youth to the elderly, are adequately addressed.
The Social Protection Policy identifies key measures to achieve its intended outcomes, those being:
Strengthening Existing Grants: One of the primary focuses of the policy is to improve the existing framework for currently available grants. This involves strengthening, sustaining, and increasing access to existing grants to enhance financial support for those in need.
Inclusion of Marginalized Communities and People with Disabilities: The policy underscores the importance of inclusivity, and incorporates it as a central tenet throughout its processes. Namibia is committed to improving the inclusion of marginalized communities and people with disabilities, not only to provide equal opportunities but also to foster a sense of belonging within society.
Empowering Women and Youth: Empowering women and youth is another vital facet of the policy. Through various initiatives, Namibia aims to create employment opportunities and provide the support that enables women and youth to fulfil their potential.
Enhancing TVET and Tertiary Education Assistance: The policy recognizes the critical role education plays in socio-economic development. As such, it aims to improve Technical and Vocational Education and Training and tertiary education financial assistance, thus expanding access to quality education.
Affordable Housing: Housing is a fundamental need, and the policy seeks to increase disadvantaged and vulnerable people's access to affordable housing. This not only provides shelter but also contributes to community development and stability.
As a testament to its commitment to social protection and the creation of jobs, Namibia has assumed the role of a Pathfinder country. It is actively working on a National Roadmap for the United Nations Secretary-General's Initiative on the Global Accelerator on Jobs, Social Protection, and Just Transitions. This initiative seeks to promote job creation, social protection, and equitable transitions in employment.
Namibia is one of the several countries that is part of a UN Development Account project, led jointly by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. This project aims to build national capacities for establishing and implementing sustainable, evidence-based social protection systems to accelerate socioeconomic recovery from the Triple Crisis in Africa Asia and the Pacific.
Namibia's journey towards a comprehensive and inclusive social protection system is inspiring. With the support and guidance of the United Nations, the country is taking significant steps to address vulnerabilities and ensure that no one is left behind. By strengthening grants, promoting inclusion, empowering women and youth, enhancing education opportunities, and increasing access to affordable housing, Namibia is paving the way for a brighter, more secure future for its citizens.
The Joint SDG Fund's joint programmes are under the prestige leadership of the Resident Coordinator Office and implementing United Nations Agencies. With sincere appreciation for the contributions from the European Union and Governments of Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and our private sector funding partners, for a transformative movement towards achieving the SDGs by 2030.