Home Local News Economy US OFFERS ZAMBIA K39BN AID DEAL

US OFFERS ZAMBIA K39BN AID DEAL

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By PRISCA LUMINGU-BANDA
THE United States has announced a K39 billion five-year development programme for Zambia which will be invested in health, agriculture, education and tourism.

US Charge d’Affaires David Young said the launch of USAID’s new development strategy cements the US continued support to the people of Zambia for years to come.
“The K39 billion in committed funds are not a handout, nor are they a loan that must be paid back. These funds are an investment in the Zambian people and they are contingent on a successful partnership with the government, the Zambian people, the private sector and civil society,” Mr. Young said.
Mr. Young announced the programme when he paid a courtesy call on President Edgar Lungu at State House yesterday to celebrate the USAID Development project grant agreement.
He said the US was committed to working with the government of Zambia to improve health, literacy and food security for the most vulnerable Zambians including pushing this year to epidemic control of HIV/AIDS.
Mr. Young said the US would also help the government to improve resource mobilisation, public financial management, and the fight against corruption to bolster Zambia’s ability to fund its own development.
And President Lungu said the US government has since Zambia’s independence in 1964 provided support in the education, health and other sectors of the economy.
He thanked the US government for complementing Government efforts in the quest to improve social services to the people President Lungu also assured Mr. Young that the government was committed to re-profiling its debt as it knew that it was no longer business as usual.
“The debt situation is one worrying area and I assure you that the Finance minister is doing everything possible to return Zambia to sustainable levels,” Mr Lungu said.
And speaking during a joint press briefing with Finance Minister Bwalya Ng’andu, Mr. Young said the US government was committed to support Zambia’s democracy and its effort to decentralise governance and improve service delivery to its people.
Meanwhile, Dr. Ng’andu said the programme would supplement Government efforts to fight poverty and improve the economy. Dr. Ng’andu also assured the American government that the money would be prudently used.