The German Federal Government has mobilized additional resources of 1.5 million Euros (appr. 30 million N$) to support the Namibian Government, through the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development (MURD), the Ministry of Works and Transport and the Ministry of Industrialization and Trade, in addressing the rising challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in ongoing cooperation programs.
Supporting the safe reopening of markets and informal trading places
The German development cooperation program on Inclusive and Sustainable Urban Development (ISUD), implemented by GIZ in collaboration with MURD and the Local Economic Development Agency (LEDA) will support the modification and upgrading of informal markets to ensure the required distancing as well as hygienic conditions to reduce the risks of community transmission of the virus. This envisaged intervention is based on rapid assessments that are already underway in various urban centers to identify the various upgrading needs and will be implemented as joint efforts of MURD/LEDA, the respective local authorities and GIZ.
Enhancing the safety for drivers and passengers in the transport industry
Considering the importance of regional and transboundary trade as well as the precarious working conditions for truck drivers, the GIZ project “Transport, Mobility, Logistics” will provide additional support to enhance and extend the Mobile Health Clinics along transport corridors in cooperation with the Walvis Bay Corridor Group Health Service. This will include the procurement and set up of up to three additional mobile clinic containers in Keetmanshoop, Walvis Bay and Otjiwarongo, including the
provision of salaries for up to 4 months for clinic staff as well as COVID-19-hygiene material and consumables such as an isolation tent, masks and disinfectants. Additionally, an information campaign for safe public transport will be launched, including the provision of 2,000 protective kits for public transport providers (with face masks, hand sanitizers, soap etc.) as well as training of drivers on use of equipment and general preventive measures.
Promoting business continuity for start-ups and young SMEs
The past months have been a tremendous challenge for start-up and small businesses in Namibia. Building on the successful launch and implementation of a COVID-19 StartUp Grant in May 2020, the StartUp Namibia program, implemented by GIZ in cooperation with the Ministry of Industrialization and Trade, will extend its support for start-ups and SMEs. Through this relief measure focused on supporting the businesses to stay operational, grants of 15,000 N$ each were already provided on a competitive basis to 200 selected start-up businesses. Businesses from the regions of Namibia and led by women were given preference. Building on the resounding success a second round will be launched at the end of August 2020. In this round 500 start-up and small growing businesses will benefit from the #COVID19StartUpGrant.
These three support measures complement the 290 million N$ already provided by German development cooperation to Namibian partners in ongoing programs to fight the pandemic and to mitigate the respective challenges on livelihoods, businesses and nature conservation in Namibia.
Please find more details in the attached overview on the German support with regard to the Corona pandemic in Namibia here: Germany supports Namibia with 320 million N$ to fight COVID-19 and cope with its impacts