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World Bank Approves $207.6 Million Grant To Zambia!!

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World Bank Approves $207.6 Million Grant To Zambia!!

World Bank Approves $207.6 Million Grant To Zambia!!

THE World Bank has approved $207.6 million grant as the second additional financing for the scaling-up shock responsive social protection project.

The funds, made up of US$200 million from the International Development Association (IDA) and US$7.6 million from the Zambia Girls’ Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood (GEWEL) Multi-Donor Trust Fund, are meant to help the Government to effectively respond to the impact of drought through the provision of a temporal increase in the transfer value to existing social cash transfer beneficiaries.

The funds will also help in the recruitment of additional beneficiaries in the affected districts identified under the emergency drought response strategy.

And World Bank Executive Director for Africa Group 1 Constituency Dr Floribert Ngaruko confirmed in a letter addressed to Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane.

“I am pleased to inform you that the Board of Executive Directors of the World Banks International Development Association on July 1, 2024, approved (on an absence-of-objection basis) a second additional GRANT in the amount of US$200 million from the IDA Crisis Response Window to the Republic of Zambia for the Scaling-up Shock Responsive Social Protection Project,” Dr Ngaruko said.

Dr Ngaruko said the additional financing will be co-financed by a grant in the amount of US$7.6 million from the Zambia Girls’ Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood Multi-Donor Trust Fund.

“The project development objective is to protect poor and vulnerable households’ consumption in response to shocks in Zambia.The Social Cash Transfer Program for emergency assistance will be scaled-up to address the escalating impacts of the ongoing drought on poor and vulnerable households. Specifically, it will support at least over 1.6 million households across 84 drought-impacted districts with emergency cash assistance over a 12-month period, including 904,635 current Social Cash Transfer beneficiary households and 726,361 new households,” Dr Ngaruko said.

And Dr Musokotwane said the Zambian Government applauds the World Bank for approving funds from the International Development Association’s Crisis Response Window for the Scaling-up Shock Responsive Social Protection Project.

“We are delighted that the World Bank continues to hold our hand in challenging times such as now when Zambia is facing a confluence of crises, including a severe cholera outbreak in the first quarter of the year, compounded by the worst drought on record in the 2023/2024 season which has been declared as a national disaster and emergency, leaving about 6.6 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance,” Dr Musokotwane said.

He said the World Bank funds will complement the drought response plan by scaling-up the Social Cash Transfer Programme to help meet the shortfalls and ensure regular cash transfers.

Dr Musokotwane said the expansion of the Social Cash Transfer Program will entail the temporal increase in the number of beneficiary households and an increase the cash transfer values to K400 from K200 per month.

He said the World Bank’s approval of the second additional financing will fortify existing social protection programmes and mitigate against the adverse effects of the extensive drought that Zambia is experiencing, amidst constrained domestic resources.

The Minister said the provision of funds is a clear demonstration of the confidence that the World Bank has in Zambia’s economic reforms, and in the country’s public financial governance, in general.

“We take this opportunity to pay tribute to all local and international development partners who have extended their helping hands to assist the country in responding to the drought crisis, and he concluded that, “we are putting in place grain deficiency mitigation measures through the winter and early maize production initiatives, involving as many Zambian farmers as possible.

Through strong collaboration with fellow citizens and other development partners, we will overcome the challenges we are facing this year and become a net food supplier for the region, in the medium-term. We are confident that we will succeed,” Dr Musokotwane said.

This is according to a statement by the Secretary to the Treasury.

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