Covid’s costs calculated

Education, health sectors benefit

18 March 2021 | Health

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, government through the education ministry has constructed 121 new ablution units in schools across the country, renovated 97 ablution facilities, constructed 35 new hostel units and renovated 36 hostels.
This was announced by finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi in the National Assembly on Wednesday when he tabled the N$67.9 billion National Budget for the 2021/22 financial year.
Shiimi said N$468 million was spent on the renovation of these facilities, as well as to connect 113 schools to piped or borehole water. This, he said, was part of the N$9.1 billion fiscal stimulus package, comprising N$6.7 billion total budgetary allocation and N$2.4 billion government guarantee-backed loans, set aside to cushion the impact of the pandemic on the lives of Namibians.
Shiimi said the fight against the pandemic has not been easy, but it is being prosecuted on all fronts and the health and livelihoods of Namibians remain a primary consideration.
The minister said that since April 2020, the capacity of the health system has been boosted through procurement of medical and protective equipment and supplies, intensive care unit beds, isolation facilities and related supplies at a cost of N$727.7 million.

Society
Shiimi said 769 000 Namibians have benefited from the Emergency Income Grant at a cost of N$576 million, while 30 employers and 21 359 employees have benefited from the wage subsidy and employee salary protection programmes of the Social Security Commission at a cost of N$27.9 million and N$78.8 million respectively.
Furthermore, he said the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, working in close collaboration with local authorities and NamWater, has ensured availability of water supply in urban and rural areas at an estimated cost of N$72 million during the lockdown restrictions.
A total of N$22 million was utilised by the security sector to procure Covid-19 related medical supplies, refurbishment of related infrastructure and enforcement of regulations.
“The Development Bank of Namibia will continue to roll out N$450 million guaranteed loans to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as well as to large businesses, in addition to other targeted facilities such as the youth skills-based lending facility and the Credit Guarantee Scheme.”
Agribank has extended up to N$174 million in new loans and restructured arrear payments for about 194 farmers to cope with the impact of COVID-19 and the legacy issues arising from the previous years of severe drought. – Nampa

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