WASHINGTON, February 14, 2019 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today endorsed a new five-year Country Partnership Framework (CPF) to support the government of Zambia address the structural challenges and promote pro-poor growth with a focus on rural areas.
Zambia ranks among countries with the highest levels of poverty and inequality globally. Fifty-eight percent (2015) of Zambia’s 16.6 million people earn less than the international poverty line of $1.90 per day (compared to 41 percent across Sub-Saharan Africa) and three quarters of the poor live in rural areas.
The CPF will support the Zambian government’s efforts to rekindle economic growth while following a more inclusive and sustainable path. To assist the government in achieving its development goals, the CPF will help Zambia promote opportunities and jobs for the rural poor, invest in human capital, and build resilience.
The CPF is aligned with the government of Zambia’s National Development Plan and its Sustainable Development Goals. Poverty in Zambia remains mainly a rural issue and this CPF prioritizes rural areas and ensure that the poor in rural communities are more climate resilient.
“The CPF will specifically reduce regional disparities and catalyze private sector investment. It will foster fiscal decentralization, connect lagging regions, and smallholder farmers to markets because agriculture is the main source of livelihood of the poor and the anchor for a more diversified economy,” said Ina Ruthenberg, World Bank Country Manager for Zambia.
Zambia is Africa’s second-largest copper producer which achieved middle-income country status in 2011, during a decade (2004-2014) of impressive economic growth, averaging 7.4 percent per year. However, growth only benefitted a small segment of the urban population, with limited impact on poverty.
The CPF will also support expansion of market opportunities for Zambian firms through increased economic integration with neighboring countries and an adequate rural road network. It is also expected to help reduce the infrastructure gap, increase access to electricity, and water and sanitation, particularly in rural areas.
Other areas to be addressed are financial inclusion, improving delivery of basic health and education services, and increasing the pro-poor focus of fiscal policy, such as specific interventions under social protection that are meant to further boost disadvantaged girls’ participation in secondary education and poor women’s livelihood opportunities.
The CPF will stimulate plans to address the current debt situation through policy dialogue, bi-annual economic briefs, and analytical work centered on debt and financial management reforms.
The CPF is informed by extensive consultations with a broad range of stakeholders in Zambia which included government, civil society, youths, faith-based organizations, academia, thinks tanks and development partners.