Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Zambia’s K8 Billion Covid-19 Bond- Restating The Facts On Economic Stimulus Plan

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By Bernadette Deka Zulu – PMRC Executive Director

Zambia’s cabinet recently approved the establishment of an economic stimulus package that will be financed through the issuance of a COVID-19 bond. This is in addition to other economic measures instituted by the Government such as the availing of K2.5 billion in financial relief for businesses, and the Bank of Zambia’s K10 Billion Medium-Term Refinancing Facility made available to eligible commercial banks and non-bank financial institutions to access in order to restructure, refinance or extend credit to businesses and households impacted by Covid-19 on more favourable terms while ensuring that financial institutions adhere to set objectives.

To provide further clarity and understanding, “Bonds” are investment securities where an investor lends money to a company or a Government for a set period of time, in exchange for regular interest payments. Upon maturity of the bond, the bond issuer returns the investor’s money. Fixed income is a term often used to describe bonds, since investments earn fixed payments over the life of the bond. The Government of Zambia is raising the entire K8 Billion and this will be done in multiple tranches. In this regard, the Government is relying on support from various stakeholders, especially financial institutions and fund managers to participate. The Bank of Zambia is the issuing authority of the Bond on behalf of the Government and this Bond has the same features as regular bonds that the Bank of Zambia issues and will be issued at a discount that will attract coupon payments just like the regular bonds. The only difference is that the resources raised will be specifically targeted towards local entities that have been affected by the impact of COVID-19.

There is no doubt that in the current context it is necessary to provide an economic stimulus through the issuance of the COVID-19 bond in order to improve the liquidity levels in the economy that have reduced due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Further, Zambia’s allocation of the COVID-19 Bond is as follows;

  1. Presidential Covid-19 Economic Recovery Fund, K3.185 Billion.
  2. Payment to Third-Parties (Micro Finance Institutions), K1.315 Billion.
  3. Drugs Debts and Equipment Procurement, K1 Billion.
  4. Grain Purchases, K1.7 Billion.
  5. Other Applications, K800 Million.

The COVID-19 Bond is mainly aimed at stimulating economic activity and is different from COVID-19 Funds and Resources whose aim is on Health Interventions to fight COVID-19 and mitigate the impact the pandemic has on HIV, TB and malaria programs. In sharp contrast to the COVID-19 Bond, activities from COVID-19 Funds include, but are not limited to, management of patients, epidemic preparedness assessment, laboratory testing, sample transportation, use of surveillance infrastructure, infection control in health facilities, and information campaigns.

More prominently under COVID-19 Funding towards Health Interventions is the Zambia COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Preparedness Project which aims to prevent, detect and respond to the threat posed by COVID-19 in Zambia and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness. This funding has the following components

Emergency public health response to COVID-19 through surveillance, case finding, contact tracing, building laboratory capacity, risk communication and community engagement, coordination of emergency preparedness and response while focusing on disease surveillance, case investigation and rapid response capacity, laboratory capacity and specimen transport, screening at points of entry.

Resilient Health Service Delivery through support of COVID-19 case management, infection prevention and control and interventions to maintain health services.

Project management, monitoring and evaluation and research related to COVID-19 to inform decision making.

With this focus and unity of purpose to ameliorate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and health of citizens, Zambia is poised to recover from the impact of the pandemic over the medium-term. It is therefore imperative for all citizens to support these Government initiatives by communicating and disseminating correct information on measures being implemented to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

13 COMMENTS

  1. I know hw the founding executive director of PMRC was hounded out of office. It was a sad story and puts me off anything Bernadette Deka writes. There’s no need to change the guard in that way in any normal organisation that wants respect of informed people.

  2. PF caders beat Police in Sesheke
    PF cadres on bus roof tops going to the airport disobeying road safety act
    PF caders assault opposition leader Seun Tembo
    PF caders attack radio stations in Muchinga province
    PF caders attack HH at a radio station in Ndola and HH escapes through the roof top
    PF caders stone helicopter carrying opposition members in Shiwangandu during elections
    PF caders disrupt and grab food from Chibwela mushi ceremony in Chongwe
    PF cader slaps Roan MP Kambwili at parliament
    PF caders in a video insult Kambwilis mother
    PF caders slap Justice Minister Given Lubinda
    PF caders storm Lusaka central police and clobber police officers
    PF cader named in the gassing in Chingola
    PF caders and Police remove HH billboards in Monze before President Lungus Visit

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  3. The IMF is non-committal on providing covid-19 relief funding to Zambia.
    Meanwhile IMF disbursed the following; Rwanda – $127 million,DRC – $77 million,Malawi – $37 million etc
    Zambia instead issued a bond.
    The consequences of over-borrowing.

    8
    1
  4. Lungu needs money to pay his PF thugs……the extortions from markets and bus stops is not enough for the PF thugs. The PF wage bill to the unemployed thugs is hudge.

    We thank God the international community refused to give him covid money…

  5. Thugs were sent to humiliate and hound the founding executive director of PMRC to make way for Bernadette Deka-Zulu. Her predecessor had committed no crime whatsoever or issued any embarrassing statement to the media. Deka-Zulu should not be taken seriously.

  6. The only way to get rid of Uyu tall mbanyina Lungu is to starve him of cash, though this will impact on the economy so let it be so, so that we learn to be sensible when choosing leaders.

    6
    1
  7. Why is the presidential fund taking a Lion’s share?
    What will it be used for and when should we expect the Audit report on how these moneys were spent?
    The Economic Response to Covid impact has been a DISASTER!
    1. No cost relief on data to promote online learning and online commerce.
    2. No cost reduction in Fuel and Electricity costs!
    It’s as good as business as usual!
    Nothing much to expect.

  8. Can you imagine Akainde doesn’t know between COVID-19 Bond and funds. Chansoni sana. Did he really pass E110 or his uncle leaked the exam to him?

  9. With elections coming soon, PF needs to be very mindful on financial management. Demonstrate good and legitimate use of funding. Demonstrate development projects like infrastructure are completed to good standards. There is no more time for excuses on poor project management or supplies delay. Most people will reckon 8_9 years is long enough to have completed the vast majority of the first projects.

    This current economic climate is difficult and brought complications but there has been enough time to complete most of the projects before 2021. ZESCO is the biggest vote loser. Something needs to be done about effective supply of basics like water electricity and drainage some 53 odd years if Independence.

  10. Every right thinking Zambia (Except @KZ) knows very well that DEKA ***can never author this. The language is too technical for her to comprehend. So let it pass…. The only respect i have for her is that she has a fighting spirit. A true Hustle. But this article is far from what she is able to write….

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