SAUDI FUND CHAIRMAN, ENGINEER Yousef Al-Bassam, who also doubles as Vice Chairman of The Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) has said the expansion of BADEA’s portfolio in Zambia by an additional US$ 10 million to bring the figure to US$ 140 million from US$ 130 million in September, 2017, signifies the brotherly relations between Zambia and BADEA.
“Up to September, 2017, BADEA’s total commitment to Zambia stood at US$ 130 million while the total commitments of the Arab National and Regional Development Financial Institutions stood at US$ 280.5 million as at June, 2017,” said Eng. AL-BASSAM, who was speaking during a signing ceremony between Zambia and BADEA held on the sidelines of the 2017 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Washington DC.
“I am very pleased to be with you today on the occasion of signing a US$10 MILLION FINANCING FACILITY FOR CONSTRUCTION OF CANCER TREATMENT CENTERS IN ZAMBIA,” said Eng. Al-Bassam, adding further that, “this is aimed at supporting the Zambian governments’ policy of expanding health services coverage and access.”
The BADEA Vice Chairman also said the agreement will expand cancer care services in Zambia through expansion of radiotherapy access and specialist health care services in the country, “by reducing the travel challenges of cancer affected persons who usually have to traverse long distances to access diagnostic and treatment services.”
Eng. AL-BASSAM requested Finance Minister Felix Mutati, who signed on behalf of Zambia, to assure President Edgar Lungu of the full support of BADEA and The Saudi Fund in fulfilling Zambia’s development agenda.
AND Mr. Mutati has said the loan agreement signed with BADEA will not only ease the burden of specialist treatment and access to quality medical care especially in Livingstone and Lusaka regions, but also act as a critical ingredient in moving the economy forward through sustenance of a healthy population.
“It has been very expensive for Zambia to send patients for specialist treatment abroad,” said Mr. Mutati, who also assured Eng. Al-Bassam that the Zambian Government would ensure full accountability and transparency in the usage of the funds so that the targeted beneficiaries access the optimal benefits of the financing facility from BADEA.
The Minister also appealed to The Saudi Fund and BADEA to consider assisting Zambia in financing specialist education related to modern science and technological advancement.