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Zambia seeks urgent global intervention of over K23.5 billion to tackle effects of drought, other deficits


President Hakainde Hichilema says the country is in urgent need of more than K23.5 billion to respond to effects of drought.

He said this during a national address on Tuesday, noting that to effectively implement immediate life-saving and life-sustaining humanitarian and recovery needs, a total of K23.5 billion or US$ 940.6 million was urgently needed.

“Of this amount, K1.3 billion, equivalent to US$51.2 million, is available leaving a financing gap of K22.2 billion equivalent to US$ 889.4 million,” he told the nation.

Read more: Hichilema declares drought national disaster and emergency, as 2.2 million hectares of farmlands destroyed

The Head of State said specifically K12.6 billion was required for immediate food assistance, out of which K28.3 million was available, leaving a gap of about K12.54 billion.

“For the education sector, particularly in expanding the school feeding programme, a sum of K784 million is urgently required. In the health sector, K2.5 billion is required, out of which K51.7 million is available, leaving a gap of K2.45 billion,” he stated.

Children under five and pregnant and new mothers’ nutritional needs would require a total of K532 million, adding that water resources development and management would require K3.02 billion.

President Hichilema also noted that agricultural production, as part of early recovery and resilience building, would require K2.5 billion.

“Finally, livestock and wildlife preservation and wellbeing will require K1.7 billion out of which K98 million is available, leaving a funding gap of K1.5 billion,” he said.

President Hichilema, therefore , reached out to the international community and partners within the country, the private sector, the church, and civil society organisations to support the country financially and materially in mitigating the devastating effects of drought.

On February 29, 2024, Hichilema declared the country’s drought as a national disaster and emergency.

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