Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hon. Stanley Kakubo has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to continue partnering with the World Food Programme (WFP) for the benefit of the Zambian people.
The Minister made the remarks when he received Letters of Credence from WFP Representative and Country Director Ms. Cissy Byenkya at Charter House in Lusaka.
Minister Kakubo acknowledged the excellent warm and cordial relations that exist between the Government of Zambia and the Office of the World Food Programme and expressed satisfaction at the continued operation and collaboration of the organization over the years as recently witnessed by signing of the new host country agreement with the WFP.
The Minister expressed gratitude for WFP’s support to Zambia in areas that ensure food and nutrition security, reducing malnutrition, promoting climate smart agriculture, provision of technical expertise and capacities to government institutions and support to social programmes.
The Minister highlighted the need for the new Government and the UN family to work together to improve the food security situation in Zambia.
“About half the population of this country cannot attain the daily calorie intake, and over one-third of our children are stunted. In addition, the vast majority of our rural farmers still experience low crop yields and low revenues for their produce. We look forward to work with WFP to address some of these challenges,” the Minister stated.
“As a nation that has contributed to the humanitarian agenda, the Zambian Government is also very pleased with the WFP’s work in ensuring that nutrition and food security status of the refugees is receiving due attention.”
In response, the WFP Representative congratulated the Minister and the country on the peaceful elections held on 12th August, 2021, adding that Zambia is a beacon hope for Africa.
Ms. Byenkya informed the Minister that the WFP is implementing a five–year strategy which centers on among other aspects response to crises such as drought, floods and recently the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Representative stated that the agency also provides support to smallholder farmers countrywide to ensure their sustainability from production to access of markets.
Ms. Byenkya highlighted the school feeding programme which the Agency runs in partnership with the Government which helps to among other goals, improve attendance by the learners.
Ms. Byenkya noted that WFP is working to ensure that the food provided to the learners is grown in the areas where the schools are located in order to empower the communities with income and a ready market.
“I look forward to working with the Government and other stakeholders to promoting and saving lives in the country especially our 1.5 million farmers who feed the rest of us and produce 90 percent of what we eat,” stated Ms. Byenkya.
Public Relations Unit
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation