The Non-Governmental Organizations Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has observed that Zambia still falls short of the Abuja Declaration of 15 per cent total allocation to the health sector.
The council says allocating fewer resources to the health sector will not adequately address access to good health services and reduce maternal and child mortality rates.
In a press statement issued by the Council’s Gender Budgeting Team and released to ZANIS in Lusaka today, it says more than one woman dies every minute every day, translating to 585,000 women dying in a year.
It further indicates that Zambia is far from reaching the 2015 UN Millennium Development Goal of reducing maternal mortality to 162 deaths per 100,000 births.
Finance Minister, Alexander Chikwanda, unveiled a K32.2 trillion national budget. Mr Chikwanda announced more than K1 trillion increment to the health sector allocation from 9.3 per cent in 2012 to 11.3 percent next year.
The budget, however, has received mixed feelings from amongst stakeholders.
The statement said women and children die from pregnancy, child birth and unsafe abortion in the country due to complications which are preventable.
It says Zambia’s maternal mortality ratio which stands at 591 deaths per 100,000 live births shows an un-acceptable and a worse condition.
And the Council says Zambia has not fulfilled the Maputo Declaration of 10 per cent funding to the agricultural sector.
Government allocated 8.3 per cent of the total budgetary allocation for the year 2013 compared to 7 per cent in 2012.
The statement says 67 per cent of the labour force is employed in the agricultural activities.
The NGOCC, however, welcomes K50 billion allocation to empower un-employed and vulnerable youths with vocational skills.