The Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) has observed that Zambia’s economic growth usually benefits the richer urban population.
CSPR in Luapula province has therefore expressed concern that despite the 3.8 percent projected growth in the Zambian economy next year, such gains have in the past mostly benefited the urban populations.
Civil Society for Poverty Reduction Luapula Province Coordinator Hope Mwelaisha said while it was commendable that government has increased the allocation of funds for agriculture and food security, it should also ensure that every Zambian has access to safe, nutritious and affordable food supply as a matter of a right.
Ms. Mwelaisha said in a statement released to ZANIS today that government should that devote sufficient funds to agricultural security, which she said was one component of its obligation with regard to the human right to food.
She further said although poverty and vulnerability reduction pillar has also received a fair attention from the 2018 budget, her organization was concerned by what she termed lack of coordination in the implementation of social protection programmes in the country.
She said the issue of wrong targeting where people who are not in real need are given social cash transfer should also be addressed if Zambians, who are really suffering, are to be removed out of poverty.
Ms. Mwelaisha observed that the social cash transfer programme should be targeted at the very poor class of the Zambian society saying it was unfortunate that few people who do not deserve it benefit.
She added that there was need for government to dedicate funds and ensure that vulnerable Zambians such as individuals struggling with HIV and AIDS and female-headed households are specifically provided for in the country’s food policy.