By Brightwell Chabusha

The United States government has announced an $18.5 million funding for Zambia.

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Samantha Power announced approximately $18.5 million in additional U.S. Government funding to support the people of Zambia, including Zambia’s fight against COVID-19.

This was after a meeting with President Hakainde Hichilema in the USA.

Administrator Power and President Hichilema met to discuss U.S. support for the Zambian people and President Hichilema’s ambitious agenda of democratic and economic reforms.

In view of President Hichilema’s early efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and freedom of expression, since his inauguration on August 24, Administrator Power announced $1.25 million to help bolster Zambia’s new democratic openings.

The funding is meant to advance USAID’s activities to strengthen the foundations of freedom of expression and assembly, and help safeguard a space for activists, human rights defenders, oppositional voices, and independent and new media.

Administrator Power also highlighted USAID’s recent announcement of $6.7 million from the American Rescue Plan for strengthening the Zambian government’s response to the pandemic.

“Since 2020, the United States has provided more than $33.9 million to fight COVID-19 in Zambia in addition to providing vaccines to fully vaccinate over 300,000 Zambians. U.S. assistance has supported Zambia’s outbreak response, outreach, and communications on COVID-19 prevention measures and vaccine delivery.The pandemic has also generated new challenges for the global AIDS response.”

Administrator Power announced an additional $9.6 million from the American Rescue Plan to help mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on HIV/AIDS programs in Zambia.

Since 2020, the United States has provided more than $734.3 million to fight HIV/AIDS in Zambia.

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