BIG wants grant for more Namibians

21 November 2021 | Local News

Youth of Agtste Laan in Windhoek have demanded that government introduce the Basic Income Grant (BIG) for all Namibians between the age of 19 and 59, as they feel it would help in poverty eradication.
During a media conference organised by the BIG Coalition on Thursday, the group said many political leaders have over the years portrayed a widespread but completely wrong perception that welfare grants like the BIG make people dependent. They said that it is evident from 130 BIG pilot studies from across the world, that the grant enables people to become economically active and to improve their own lives substantially.
“We saw this practice during the Otjivero pilot study where BIG enabled recipients to change their lives. Should BIG be paid to all Namibians, it would certainly transform the youth’s current economic state,” said the group.
They added they want President Hage Geingob, political leaders, clergy, civil society and all Namibians to understand that the state of the collective social wellbeing rests on how all stakeholders take care of those who are still chained by the shackles of poverty. “The youth will not accept anything less than a no-strings-attached BIG that is by far the best way to reduce poverty, malnutrition, illnesses, crime and school dropout rates. A BIG of at least N$500 per person per month for people aged 19-59, to complement a universal child grant and the social pension is a necessary intervention to ensure a minimal decent existence. Given Namibia’s resources, the youth demand the implementation of BIG now,” they said. – Nampa

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