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Govt to Partner with NGOCC in Drought Relief and Women Empowerment Initiative

The Ministry of Community Development and Social Services has revealed plans for a collaborative effort with the Non-governmental Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) to address the challenges posed by drought, with a particular focus on food security and women’s empowerment.

The collaboration aims to implement a comprehensive emergency response program that includes women’s participation in wetland cropping, specifically for winter maize production, to mitigate the effects of crop failure.

This initiative was discussed during a meeting between the Minister of Community Development and Social Services, Mrs. Doreen Mwamba, and a delegation from NGOCC, led by its Board Chairperson, Ms. Grace Sinkamba.

Recognizing operational gaps in women’s involvement in empowerment programs, Minister Mwamba emphasized the need for urgent action to enhance partnerships for development, ensuring access to food and empowering women in vulnerable communities.

Mrs. Mwamba highlighted the importance of pooling resources and expertise between government and NGOCC to maximize the impact of emergency food distribution, agricultural support, literacy training, and community empowerment initiatives in drought-affected areas.

She emphasized President Hakainde Hichilema’s declaration of a national emergency as an opportunity to strengthen collaboration between government and women’s organizations, focusing on gender equality and the eradication of women’s abuse.

Proposals were made for a national women’s conference to facilitate dialogue on issues such as early marriages, gender inequality, and women’s empowerment. Additionally, monthly meetings between the Ministry and NGOCC were suggested to monitor program implementation progress.

Ms. Grace Sinkamba welcomed the collaboration, highlighting the urgent need to address developmental and empowerment gaps affecting women in the absence of a dedicated Ministry for women’s affairs. 

She praised the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services for its role in providing social protection programs to address women’s issues.

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