Power and Politics

Britain to support Zambia coordinate drought response plan


Britain has pledged its readiness to partner with Zambia to coordinate the drought response through funding technical assistance provided by the United Nations (UN).

British High Commissioner to Zambia, Nicholas Woolley, said this would be done to support the Zambian government’s national drought response plan.

Whoolley said this when he paid a courtesy visit on Information and Media Minister, Cornelius Mweetwa, in Lusaka on Thursday.

The High Commissioner said Britain would remain committed to supporting longer term resilience of affected communities.

“The British government stands in solidarity with the Zambian people at this difficult time, and commend the early action that the government has taken to respond to the national disaster and emergency the country is facing,” he stated.

Wolley pointed out that the current drought would have significant humanitarian and economic impacts across the country, with more than 6.5 million Zambians facing a severe food deficit.

“In particular, the British government is expanding its longstanding support to Zambia’s Social Cash Transfer scheme to reach the poorest and most vulnerable,” Woolley added.

He stated that the British government was supporting the temporary expansion of the programme and helping an additional 6 million Zambians to access vital food supplies.

Woolley added that Britain was also providing more than K230 million to support the most vulnerable through emergency drought cash payments.

“The British government is pleased with the recent debt restructuring deal Zambia reached, a major step forward, which can give investor’s confidence and help bring economic benefits to the country,” Woolley added.

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

Earlier, Mweetwa expressed government’s appreciation for the assistance by British government in attaining the debt restructuring.

The Minister said government would ensure that the measures it had put in place to support financial responsibility and resource management were followed.

“Government will ensure that the governance of the country remains in conformity with democratic principles and the law, allowing citizens to continue enjoying their human rights without interference,” he stated.

Mweetwa added that within two years, government had found it fit to enact the Access to Information (ATI) law to ensure an open system of governance where citizens hold their leaders accountable.

“Government through the Ministry of Information and Media will soon announce the roadmap for specific steps towards the actualization of the ATI law,” the Minister announced.

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