His Excellency Dr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia held a meeting with the United States Embassy and the USAID on the margins of the commemoration of the USAID/Zambia 2019-2024 Development Strategy at State House on 14th October, 2020.
The President was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Joseph Malanji M.P, Minister Presidential Affairs Hon. Freedom Sikazwe M.P, Minister of Finance Dr. Bwalya Ngándu M.P, Minister of Tourism and Arts Hon. Ronald Chitotela M.P, Minister of Agriculture Hon. Michael Katambo M.P, Minister of General Education Dr. Dennis Wanchinga, M.P and other senior Government officials.
The United States Delegation comprised Charge dÁffairres Mr. David Young, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Ms. Sheryl Stumbras and other senior officials.
The United States Government has pledged to implement a five-year K39 billion (US$1.9 billion) development strategy for Zambia through the USAID aimed at improving health, education, economic development, and democratic governance.
During the meeting, the President acknowledged the support from the United States to Zambia from the pre-independence era mainly in the social sectors of health and education.
The President noted that the health sector has been one of the greatest beneficiaries from the US financial support which has received more than US$2 billion in the past 10 years, focused on Zambia’s HIV/AIDS response, through the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR).
The Head of State explained that this support has been essential in complementing the Government’s efforts in preserving lives, particularly the human resource required for economic development.
The President also noted the US$14.5 million pledged to Zambia for the Covid-19 response, including the purchase of equipment such as oxygen machines, testing equipment and other supplies aimed at fighting the pandemic.
The President thanked the US Government for its continued support and reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to further enhance the excellent relations between the two countries.
In response, Mr. Young noted that the new USAID Development Objective Grant Agreement cements the US’ continued support to Zambia and that the K39 billion pledged could help improve the lives of more than 2.5 million Zambians through investments in health and education.
Mr. Young stated that the US remained Zambia’s development partner and this support aligns with the country’s aspirations in the Seventh National Development Plan.
The Charge d’Affaires emphasised the significance of the US support to Zambia in complementing the Government’s efforts in preserving lives and reaffirmed the country’s resolve to work with the Government and its people to improve health, literacy and food security.
Mr. Young noted that the USAID strategy represents the US Government’s commitment towards Zambia’s journey to self-reliance, with focus on HIV epidemic control, sustainable economic development, diversification, domestic resource mobilization, and public finance management, among others.
Later, Dr. Ngándu and Mr. Young held a press briefing in commemoration of the USAID Development Objective Grant Agreement.
Dr. Ngándu acknowledged the US assistance to Zambia through its various agencies and the multilateral assistance through organisations such as the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in mitigating weather induced challenges and dealing with the refugee burden triggered by those fleeing civil strife in their countries, respectively.
The Minister expressed sincere gratitude to the Government and the people of the US for the generous support in the various sectors of the country.
Dr. Nga’ndu stated that the Government of Zambia remains committed to ensuring that the Zambia-US cooperation strategy meets its intended objectives and resources prudently used with maximum accountability and transparency.
The Minister reaffirmed Zambia’s commitment to further enhancing the already existing excellent relations and cooperation between the two countries.
On his part, Mr. Young noted that the K39 billion funding represents the continuation of the rich and diverse contributions that the US Government and the American people have provided to Zambia for two decades.
The envoy hailed the longstanding and profound relationship of partnership and cooperation between the two countries.
Mr. Young further noted the US partnership with Zambia with the support through the US Department of State, US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Department of Defence, the Peace Corps and PEPFAR.
Public Relations Unit
Ministry of Foreign Affairs