THE British government through the Department for International Development (DFID) will provide Zambia with a Growth and Poverty Reduction Grant of K450 billion (£58m) over the next three years. DFID will this year disburse K194 billion (£25m).
Ministry of Finance and National Planning public relations officer Chileshe Kandeta said in a statement in Lusaka yesterday that the grant would be delivered as general budget support to help the Zambian Government continue the fight against poverty.
Mr Kandeta said the funds would be used to deliver more and better essential services to poor Zambians in areas of education, health, water and social security, and also increase investments in infrastructure and agriculture.
“The money will ensure that an additional 54,000 rural people have access to safe water by 2014, keep an additional 50,000 children in school every year and provide an additional 42,000 households with access to electricity by 2015,” he said.
And in an official signing ceremony with the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Head of DFID’s office in Zambia Mike Hammond said the UK remained one of Zambia’s key development partners and was committed to working with the Zambian Government to deliver its programme, especially the reduction of poverty.
“I am pleased to announce our support direct to the Government’s budget which will help them to build on progress already made and deliver better quality basic services.
“Our support will complement other programmes which target aid resources at the most off-track MDGs, and is part of a total amount of Z932billion (£120m) that has been committed since the PF came into power,” he said.
DFID would provide £235million in development assistance to Zambia over the next four years (2011-15) and the focus of DFID’s programme was making growth more inclusive, tackling inequality especially in the rural areas, tackling corruption and improving accountability of Government to its voters so that all Zambians could benefit from Zambia’s development efforts.
[Times of Zambia]