The division of veterans affairs in the defense ministry will receive a budgetary allocation of N$ 861.3 million to take care of veterans of the liberation struggle and their dependents.
The information is contained in a budget presentation delivered in the National Assembly for scrutiny by new defense minister Frans Kapofi on Monday.
The budget covers the 2021/2022 financial year (FY).
According to Kapofi, the role played by veterans in the total liberation of Namibia from the apartheid regime cannot be overemphasized.
“It is therefore our responsibility to help government in uplifting the livelihoods of these brave men and women who made it possible for us to enjoy the peace and democracy we have in this country,” Kapofi said.
The budget will, among others, cater for the disbursement of the monthly allowances to qualifying veterans’ projects, funeral assistance, the erection of tombstones, education and training grants, medical assistance and counselling.
“It is of utmost importance to ensure that the well-being of our dear veterans is looked after and to ensure that the history of the liberation struggle is preserved for future generations to come,” Kapofi reiterated.
During the 2019/2020 FY, the veterans division received a total budget of N$ 739.1 million, Kapofi informed the House.
Of this amount, N$ 730.6 million was for operational expenses, while N$ 8.5 million was for the development budget.
The overall budget execution rate for 2019/2020 FY was 99.54 per cent.
That year, the directorate paid out N$ 355.4 million on veteran grants, while N$ 219.2 million was used to improve their welfare.
In addition, N$ 2 million was paid out to families of deceased veterans for the funeral expenses of 382 veterans.
The annual grant to veterans amounted to N.dollars 1 million, while N$ 450 000 was expended on the veterans resettlement programme.
In the meantime, individual veterans’ project cost taxpayers N$ 2 million, while medical assistance and counselling accounted for N$ 1.2 million.
“The office provided medical assistance to 106 veterans… psychosocial counselling service during the reporting period was rendered to 136 veterans and their significant others,” Kapofi said.
Furthermore, for the directorate of marginalized communities, which also resorts under the defense ministry through the San Development Programme, N.dollars 46 million was spent during the period of accounting.
Meanwhile, support programmes for disability affairs amounted to N$ 4 million, Kapofi’s accountability report shows.
Source: Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA)