The Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR) says it expects to see an improvement of funds allocated towards health and other important sectors in the 2021 nation budget.
This follows an announcement from the ministry of finance that the minister will be presenting the 2021 national budget to parliament on Friday.
CSPR Executive Director Dr. Stellah Mungaila said that key sectors such as health, agriculture, social cash transfer, infrastructure and education needs to be allocated enough funds as they are vital to national development and reducing poverty levels in the economy.
Mungaila has said that CSPR expects that the 2021 national budget allocation towards the health sector will hit 15 percent to improve public service delivery in the sector.
CSPR Executive director further notes that the National budget allocation in the health sector for the past three years has never reached the internationally recognized standards of 15 percent allocation which is resulting poor service delivery.
“For the past three years 2018, 2019, and 2020, National budget allocation has never reached the internationally recognized standards of 15 percent allocation as per the Abuja Declaration. For example, the national budget allocation in 2018 was 9.5 percent, in 2019 it dropped to 9.3 percent and in 2020 it further dropped to 8.8 percent of the total budget. This has affected service delivery in the health sector in Zambia,” the CSPR Director said.
Mungaila stated that CSPR further expects Government to allocate more resources to the social protection programs to a tune of 5 percent of the total National Budget.
“We have observed that budgetary allocation towards Social Protection (SP) for the past three years 2018, 2019, and 2020 has been reducing. For example, in 2018 social protection was allocated 3.2%, 2019 (2.5%), and 2020 (2.4%) of the total national budget respectively. This situation has impacted negatively on programs that are ear-marked to uplift the living standards of the majority Zambian,” he said.
The executive director further added that CSPR expects to see the long-awaited need of investing more resources in the agriculture sector to champion agriculture diversification in order to stabilize the economy of the country.
“Zambia has not fully exploited the agriculture sector due to limited resource allocation in the national budgets. For example, allocation towards farmer input support program has been declining since 2018 from One Billion, Seven Hundred Eighty-Five Million Kwacha (K1,785,000,000) to One Billion, Four Hundred and Twenty-Eight Million Kwacha (K1, 428, 000, 000) in 2019 and One Billion, One Hundred, Eleven Million One Hundred and Eighty-Four Thousand Twenty Kwacha (K1,111,840.20) in 2020 national budget,” Mundaila said.
The agriculture sector has seen a reduction in production due to the allocations being far below the Maputo declaration of allocating 10 percent of the national budget towards agriculture and rural development policy implementation.