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DRW Applauds Zambia’s Debt Restructuring Deal, Calls for Focus on Vulnerable Communities

Disability Rights Watch (DRW) extended congratulations to the Government of the Republic of Zambia for successfully negotiating a debt restructuring deal with international bondholders, amounting to USD 3.5 billion.

The agreement is anticipated to free up funds previously allocated for debt repayment, providing an opportunity for investment in socio-economic sectors crucial for citizens’ well-being.

Wamundila Waliuya, Director of DRW, expressed excitement over the agreement, emphasizing its potential to channel resources into sectors such as inclusive education, social protection, youth employment, and accessible healthcare.

This move, Waliuya asserted, holds promise for the disability community, as it aligns with efforts to address longstanding challenges faced by persons with disabilities in Zambia.

With a focus on ensuring direct benefits for persons with disabilities, DRW urged the government to allocate a significant portion of the freed-up funds towards enhancing educational resources and assistive technologies across all levels of learning. Waliuya emphasized the importance of inclusivity, advocating for equal access to education for learners with disabilities.

Furthermore, DRW called for increased budget allocations to grant-aided institutions responsible for serving persons with disabilities, including the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities, the National Trust Fund for Persons with Disabilities, National Vocational Rehabilitation Centers, and the Zambia National Library for Visually Impaired Persons.

These institutions, Waliuya emphasized, play a vital role in providing essential services, particularly in rural areas.

The DRW commended President Hakainde Hichilema and his economic team for achieving the milestone in Zambia’s economic recovery. However, DRW urged the President to remain vigilant in combating corruption, which poses a significant barrier to inclusive development.

In a separate note of congratulations, DRW acknowledged President Hichilema’s recognition as one of the top five Presidents in Africa, underscoring the collective success of all Zambians.

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