18 March 2010
69,000 households in Zambia will be helped out of extreme poverty by 2019 thanks to an expanded social protection programme that will receive £38 million from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) over the next ten years.
Launched in Lusaka today, the expanded programme will run across 15 districts with the aim of giving a regular income to the poorest and most vulnerable.
Despite steady economic growth rates, Zambia is severely off track in meeting the Millennium Development Goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. 39% of the population still lives in extreme poverty, meaning that they are unable to meet even basic food needs.
The expanded social protection programme will target households made up of the elderly, children under five years of age, and adults who are chronically ill, affected by HIV/AIDS or living with disabilities. These households are likely to have little or no jobs and income, and therefore require a long term safety net in order to ensure a minimum standard of living.
Under the expanded programme DFID’s support, in addition to support from other donors, will help to provide:
At the official launch in Lusaka, DFID’s Deputy Head of Office, Kevin Quinlan, said:
“High levels of poverty and increasing inequality are a threat to Zambia’s economic growth and stability. Social protection provides an important opportunity to address this threat and entrench economic and social gains”
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