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Zambia 2024 Social Protection Week Commences with Focus on Resilience Building

The 2024 Social Protection Week has officially begun in Zambia, highlighting the urgent need for collective efforts to enhance resilience in the face of climate change and emerging human disasters.

Under the theme “Sustainable Social Protection for Resilience Building”, the event was inaugurated by Ms Angela Kawandami, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services.

In her opening address, Ms Kawandami reiterated the government’s commitment to supporting vulnerable populations amid increasingly adverse climatic conditions.

She revealed that the government is revising the 2024 national budget to prioritise food security investments and revenue-generating sectors over consumption expenditure, in response to the ongoing drought situation.

Zambia aims to strengthen its social protection mechanisms to combat various crises, including drought-induced food insecurity.

Ms Kawandami called for collective action to tackle the nation’s multifaceted challenges and acknowledged the support from international partners.

She stressed the importance of investing in irrigation systems and utilising wetlands to grow food, thereby preventing household food insecurity.

World Bank Country Representative, Ms Nadia Salim, reaffirmed the institution’s commitment to Zambia’s social protection efforts, announcing an additional $200 million to aid the drought response, building on the $600 million already invested.

This aligns with the World Bank’s broader goal of poverty reduction and shared prosperity through effective social safety nets.

The United Nations, represented by Ms Penelope Campbell on behalf of Resident Coordinator Ms Beatrice Mutali, also pledged increased support to Zambia’s social protection framework.

Ms Campbell highlighted the UN’s crucial role in enhancing the country’s capacity to implement comprehensive and adaptive social protection programmes using a cash-plus approach.

The Social Protection Week will include various discussions, media engagements, and activities designed to foster dialogue, collaboration, and raise awareness among stakeholders about the critical importance of social protection in improving the lives of the poor and vulnerable.

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