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The US government has handed over 14 metric tonnes of ready-to-use therapeutic food to the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

The donation comes against the backdrop of a report on integrated Food Security Phase Classification, which suggests that one in five Namibians goes to bed on a regular basis on a hungry stomach.

At the handover, the US Ambassador to Namibia, Randy Berry, said the Namibian government and specifically the office of the Prime Minister should be commended for the drought relief programme, which is now reaching all the regions with emergency support.

"I am therefore extremely delighted that USAID, in partnership with Chevron, is today able to complement these emergency drought relief efforts by providing fourteen metric tonnes of ready-to-use therapeutic food, what we call RUTF for short. This RUTF is a specialised food product designed to provide all the nutrients a malnourished person needs. It will save the lives of more than one thousand Namibian children suffering from severe acute malnutrition."

The Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Utjiua Muinjangue, received the aid on behalf of the government.

"The donation is valued at N$966,000. The ready-to-use therapeutic food received today will be distributed to hospital paediatric wards, health centres, and clinics. The beneficiaries are pregnant and postpartum women and children under fifteen years diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition."

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Katrina Shikonde