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PRESS RELEASE: The Covid-19 Purse Swells Again – Ministry Of Finance

Lusaka – Tuesday, May 12, 2020.

Finance Minister Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu has today announced that the European Union has extended EUR 12 million or K241.2 million support as its immediate-term contribution to the Covid-19 response in Zambia.

And in another development, the Swedish Government has scaled-up resources under the current Sweden-Zambia Development Cooperation with a grant of USD12.4 million/K230 million. The funds are for equitable health, social cash transfer, nutritional programmes and sexual and reproductive health programmes.

According to a letter received by Dr. Ng’andu from the European Union Head of Delegation to Zambia Dr. Jacek Jankowski, the EU’s planned immediate contribution to the Covid-19 response in Zambia consists EUR 2 million grant under the EU Global initiative for Covid-19. The funds are for procurement of essential medicines and related commodities.

The second component is a EUR 10 million grant mobilised by reprogramming the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). These funds will be channelled towards strengthening health systems and addressing the social and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Zambia.

Future additional support expected from the EU, includes:

1) EUR 96 million or K1.93 billion blend facility from the European Development Fund (EDF) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to facilitate increased access to finance by private sector players in the agriculture and renewable energy sectors;

2) EUR 6.3 million or K126.6 million grant for eligible Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organisations, for children and youth protection programmes; and,

3) EUR 20 million or K402 million projected grants fom EU member states through new allocations and reprogramming of existing allocations for the benefit of water and sanitation service programmes; and, strengthening prevention, health, and social protection systems.

Commenting on the latest good news, Dr. Ng’andu welcomed the sincere counsel rendered by Dr. Jacek Jankowski that the success of the reforms that Zambia has embarked on to ensure debt sustainability and restore the viability of key sectors such as energy, is crucial in unlocking direct foreign investment and expanding opportunities for the country to benefit from international financial assistance.

In response to a proposal by the EU Head of Delegation, Dr. Ng’andu has pledged that, together with his senior management team and the rest of the staff, the Ministry of Finance is ready to engage the EU in exploring ways in which Zambia can further access support using the options already available under the on-going EU-funded programmes or through other possible facilities and means.

Dr .Jankowski called on the Government to uphold the rights of citizens and exhibit the highest standards of accountability in implementing the Covid-19 response. He also advised the Government to pursue the reforms in a coherent and consistent manner, a matter which the Minister has also agreed to in the affirmative.

“While recognising the additional challenges linked to the present crisis, I would like to encourage the Government of Zambia to pursue these reforms in a coherent and consistent manner,” wrote Dr. Jankowski.

Dr. Ng’andu also accepted the advice of the EU for the Zambian Government to make the most of potential new multilateral emergency support as well as the recent G20 initiative on debt relief.

And the USD 2.1 million/K38.8 million facility received from Sweden is targetted at increased and equitable access to health and nutrition services for women, young people and children. It will also go towards supporting sexual and reproductive health programmes.

Through the World Bank, Sweden has also upscaled its social cash transfer contribution USD 6.1 million/K112.8 million. And through UNICEF, USD1.1 million/K20.4 million has already been disbursed by Sweden for the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Further, Sweden has also extended direct support to Zambia’s Covid-19 multi sectoral plan with support amounting to USD 3.1 million/ K57.4 million.

Summing-up remarks on the gestures of strong cooperation demonstrated by the EU and Sweden, Dr. Ng’andu took the opportunity to appeal to recipient Ministries, Provinces and Agencies to ensure that the friendship and support demonstrated by the EU, Sweden and other partners is not betrayed by failure to conform to the tenets of good financial governance and accountability.

Dr. Ng’andu singled-out directorates of finance and audit units in all Ministries, Provinces and Agencies as being principal custodians of rules and regulations as contained in the Public Financial Management Act.

“Should there be any wanton shortcomings, directorates of finance and audit units will be held accountable,” warned the Minister.

The EU and Sweden have today joined the group of cooperating partners that have extended support to Zambia’s fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, and other associated programmes. The commitments by the EU and Sweden bring the total support from development partners in the last one month to K3.5 billion. The other cooperating partners who have contributed so far are Germany, United Kingdom, United States of America, African Development Bank, and the World Bank.

Issued By:

Chileshe Kandeta
Spokesperson
Ministry of Finance
Copyright © 2020 ZR.

You can get in touch with our news team by emailing us at: editor@zambiareports.com

8 Comments

  1. Chimung'ontho, Mzuzu

    Thats Good Help From Well Wishers,mr Ng’andu Use It Acordingly.And Please Remember Us From Mafinga District.Look All Parts Of Zambia Do Not Forget Those In Borders Like Us From Mafinga.

  2. Malizgani Nyirenda

    We thank for that, but let’s hope there is no something behind that, because these people are very creative and craft. The other thing Mr minister do not be sided since this pandemic came into existence I have never heard any help given to LUNDAZI, CHASEFU AND LUMEZI districts are they not in ZAMBIA? Man let me hear that on that amount we are also beneficiaries

  3. Ironman

    Hope we all benefit from the same we are suffering too much…

  4. CONCERNED CITIZEN

    Mr malizgani talk to your member of parliament I think he can lobby for you. Chama to Lundazi road has to be worked on.

  5. siloka

    Hope this information is true coz we are recording everything and at the end will come together

  6. ikelenge guy

    work on the ikelenge road cause to facilitate easy movement and that all people access good & service efficiently.

  7. Dr. ATI

    My prayer is that even if the money is to be stolen, at least do one recognizable project. Like it or not, the money will be stolen and distributed to the few elite as always. Zambians , donf count on it.

  8. Dr. ATI

    How many unfinished mansions will be completed with this newly free purse. Shamefully.

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