Zambian Debt – The Financial Times view

12 July 2002

Zambian Creditors as seen by the Financial Times

Zambia to get $1.3 billion under Paris Club arrangement July 12, 2002
Lusaka, Zambia (PANA) – Creditor nations and multi-lateral institutions have agreed to disburse a total of 1.3 billion US dollars to Zambia over two years for development projects and balance of payments support.

Creditor nations and multi-lateral institutions made the pledge at the end of three days of discussions in Zambia’s southern city of Livingstone among representatives of the G8, the World Bank, the European Union and the IMF under the Paris Club arrangement.

The US promised to give Zambia a total of 44,652,000 dollars to help the country successfully continue the transition from autocracy to a multi-party society.

Allan Reed, mission director for USAID in Zambia, said his the US government will continue to support efforts that will broaden people’s participation in political life and economic growth through enhanced food security and improved health care and education programmes.

Reed explained that the grant will include 7,910,000 dollars for economic growth activities among rural producer groups, while 4,700,000 dollars will go to basic education, and 30,830,000 is earmarked for integrated health activities in support of HIV/AIDS prevention programmes. A sum of 1,212,000 dollars is specifically reserved for support of democratic governance, Reed said.

Zambia is also expected to benefit 300,000 dollars through the centre for disease control and prevention from the US government, while 10,109,454 dollars is given Lusaka for emergency food relief to mitigate the current food crisis in the country, Reed added.

EU members agree to contribute 351 million euros through the Cotonou agreement for programmes and projects outlined under Zambia’s Poverty Reduction and Strategy Paper already adopted by the IMF and World Bank.

The initial allocation of 240 million euros will cover macro- economic programmes, including balance of payments support. About 111 million euros will go towards projects of focal and non-focal nature as well as emergency needs that will include effects of drought and flooding, the EU agreed at the meeting. About 90 million euro of the pledged amount will go towards interventions in the transport sector over the next five years.

Speaking at the end of the talks between government and its creditors, World Bank country director for Zambia and Zimbabwe, Yaw Ansu said cooperating partners were very happy to support government adding that the support is conditional to the fact that government maintains its fight against corruption and strives to achieve good governance.

Part of report courtesy of Financial Times. Copyright 2002. All Rights Reserved. Financial Times Information Limited – Asia Africa Intelligence Wire.