October 18, 2010

More benefits for war veterans

More benefits are in the pipeline for the country's war veterans as Government continues to practically acknowledge their role in bringing about the country's independence. The Minister of Veteran Affairs, Dr Nickey Iyambo, told parliament that while a lot seems to have been done for the veterans, more efforts are being made to assist them financially and to reintegrate them into an independent Namibia. Among these benefits is medical assistance to veterans with health problems related to the liberation struggle. "Veterans with physical disability are assisted to purchase prosthetics, mobility aids, hearing aids," Iyambo said.

Educational and training grants for veterans and their dependents are also part of the benefits. Through these, financial support is provided to some veterans and their dependants who wish to further their studies or obtain vocational skills at institutions of higher learning in Namibia, to enable them to compete in the labour market and secure employment. Benefits like funeral grants and expenses would ensure that all veterans of the liberation struggle who pass on are buried in a respectable and dignified manner. The minister said these benefits would be implemented through a funeral scheme. A premium would be paid to a company yet to be identified to run the scheme on behalf of the ministry. Iyambo stated: "Another intervention was the creation of the Peace Project (PP).

This project was born out of recommendations of the report of the Committee of Deputy Ministers in 1996." The project was formed to integrate veterans into a number of public offices such as Defence, Police, Correctional Services and State-Owned Enterprises. "It is encouraging to note that all the ex-combatants that have been absorbed into different institutions continue to benefit from these initiatives and their lives have improved considerably." The project provides financial support to enable veterans and dependants of veterans to reintegrate better into Namibian society. According to Iyambo, while providing for financial assistance, the Veterans Act also aims to assist veterans and their dependents to get involved in economic and commercial projects of their own choice, to complement the integration process. (New Era)

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