The United States of America and the United Kingdom have joined the African Development Bank and World Bank in providing financial support to the Government of the Republic of Zambia in fighting the Novel Covid-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Dr Bwalya Ng’andu has disclosed.
In a Press Statement made available to Lusaka Star, Dr Ng’andu said that the country will access a total of 2.7 billion kwacha support from bilateral and multinational cooperating partners.
The World Bank has made available US$7.60 million (approximately 1.05 billion Kwacha) under its Rapid Response Facility. In addition, the Zambian Government has applied for a further US$20 million (Approx. 372 million) under the Banks Covid-19 fast track facility,Dr Ng’andu said.
He said African Development Bank (AFDB) had committed 37.5 million to covid 19 and that the funds would be used to purchase medical equipment, screening of patients, rehabilitation of quarantine facilities and community sensitisation.
The AFDB will augment the resources with the Fifteenth Africa Development Fund (ADF-15) programme resources and the unutilised component of the ADF-15 programme.
The American government has also approved a grant of 14.5 million dollars (Approx. 270 million Kwacha) adding to the technical support that the United States Centre for Diseases Control (US-CDC) is providing to the Ministry of Health and Zambia National Public Health Institute.
Dr Ng’andu further said that the United Kingdom had pledged support towards up-scaling social cash transfer funds under its GBP 30 million (Approx.705 Million Kwacha) social cash transfer grant assistance.
The Minister of Finance added that the heart-warming support from the four Cooperating Partners is a sign of their unfettered commitment to bettering the well-being of Zambians through strong collaboration with the government.
He pledged governments’ commitment to ensuring that the resources are used prudently and accountability exists in their use.
Dr Ng’andu also thanked other development partners, local and international, who have supplemented governments’ efforts in the fight against the pandemic through grants and donations.
He reiterated that government will continue to assess the situation and implement appropriate measures as the Covid-19 situation evolves.