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Zambian govt confirms World Bank’s additional grant of $207 million for social protection project


Secretary to the Treasury, Felix Nkulukusa, has announced that the World Bank has approved US$207.6 million additional financing for Zambia’s Scaling-Up Shock Responsive Social Protection Project.

Nkulukusa revealed in a statement on Tuesday that the approval was confirmed in a letter to Finance and National Planning Minister, Situmbeko Musokotwane, from World Bank Executive Director for Africa Group 1 Constituency, Floribert Ngaruko.

The funds included 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.

These funds are aimed to help the government respond to drought impacts by temporarily increasing transfer values (vertical expansion) for existing social cash transfer beneficiaries and recruiting additional beneficiaries (horizontal expansion) in affected districts under the emergency drought response strategy.

Ngaruko stated: “The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank’s International Development Association on July 1, 2024, approved a second additional grant of $200 million from the IDA Crisis Response Window for Zambia’s Scaling-Up Shock Responsive Social Protection Project.”

This financing was co-financed by a $7.6 million grant from the GEWEL Multi-Donor Trust Fund The project aims to protect the consumption of poor and vulnerable households in response to shocks in Zambia.

It would support 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.

Read more:Finance Minister, Musokotwane, presents K41.9 billion revised budget, as govt targets most vulnerable

Musokotwane applauded the World Bank for approving funds from the IDA’s Crisis Response Window, stating that: “The World Bank funds will complement our drought response plan by scaling up the Social Cash Transfer Programme to help meet shortfalls and ensure regular cash transfers.”

He noted that the expansion would temporarily increase the number of beneficiary households and double the cash transfer values from K200 to K400 per month.

The World Bank’s additional financing would strengthen existing social protection programs and mitigate the adverse effects of the extensive drought Zambia is experiencing, amid constrained domestic resources.

Musokotwane added that the provision of funds demonstrated the World Bank’s confidence in Zambia’s economic reforms and public financial governance.

This $207.6 million grant from the World Bank follows the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board’s approval of the third assessment of the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme, which included an immediate disbursement of approximately $569.6 million.

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