Namibia’s Draft National Social Protection Policy 2019-24: an assessment with a focus on social grants and labour market interventions
The draft policy provides a background to social protection in Namibia and an assessment of the current social protection programmes. It sets out the rationale for the policy and outlines the proposed social protection reforms, ranging from a universal maternity grant, universal child and disability grants to employment creation, income security for pensioners, war veterans and people with disabilities, food security, affordable housing etc.
This paper does not deal with all aspects of the policy and instead focuses on the role that could be played by social grants in dealing with poverty as well as mass unemployment and under-employment. It explores some of the proposed labour market interventions and makes reference to the existing universal old age pension, the proposed universal child grant, and the proposals for improved food security and disaster risk reduction. A central focus is the proposed unemployment grant for those between 30 and 59 years of age. The paper argues that Namibia has the option to establish a comprehensive social protection floor largely based on social grants which will support other interventions such as employment creation and social insurance schemes.