Power and Politics

Zambia reiterates funding gap of $890 million for full implementation of drought response programme


Zambia has a funding gap amounting to US$890 million to fully implement the drought response programme across the 84 affected districts, authorities say.

The Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU, National Coordinator, Dr Gabriel Pollen, said the drought response plan in monetary terms for Zambia amounts to US$941 million and currently government had US$51million.

Pollen said this during a joint press briefing held by the DMMU and the Information and Media Permanent Secretary, Thabo Kawana, on the implementation of the drought response plan in Lusaka on Tuesday.

He stated that the implementation of the plan was based on two key pillars that included immediate humanitarian assistance and early recovery and building for resilience.

“The target is 84 districts out of 116 districts in Zambia that have been negatively affected by the drought, with 9.8 million people affected, however, the government will target on 6.6 million people who require immediate assistance,” Pollen said.

He announced that government currently had 728,000 metric tonnes of maize that needs to be delivered to the vulnerable people over the period of 14 months in the 84 districts.

Pollen emphasized that the response plan was very clear in terms of the scale of devastation.

“The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) through the Ministry of Agriculture has already made available 44,286.5 metric tonnes of maize available throughout the country for immediate delivery to the affected districts,” he highlighted.

Pollen added that Zambia would, however, recieve additional support in form of cash transfer from the World Food Program (WFP) amounting to US$3.3 million.

He stated that the additional US$3.3million would give the country about US$13 million dollars.

“Government strategically undertook drought insurance cover and the pay out from the insurance cover through the Government Republic of Zambia is expected to amount to US$9.5 million dollars,” Pollen said.

He indicated that the payout would be in form of cash transfers to selected districts over a period of time.

Read More: Drought challenges drive govt to add over 720,000 households to emergency beneficiaries

Pollen disclosed that two weeks ago, DMMU received over 564 bags of mealie meal from the India-Zambia Business Council and over 5600 bags of mealie meal that were targeted for Siavonga district.

“Government will ensure that the targeted relief foods reach the intended beneficiaries by utilizing local structures, DMMU district committees, the church, and traditional leaders,” he assured.

Pollen stated that communities also had a role to play in ensuring that they were identifiable through the use of the National Registration Card (NRC) which would help government triangulate, verify and confirm their information.

Meanwhile, Kawana emphasised that relief food distribution was being closely monitored and anybody discovered to be stealing will face appropriate consequences.

“I want to urge the people in the impacted districts to obtain their National Registration Cards in order to receive the humanitarian food being given by DMMU,” he advised.

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