Lusaka, 28 June 2022 (TDI): Hakainde Hichilema, the President of Zambia had a meeting with Anshula Kant, the Managing Director and the Chief Financial Officer of the World Bank Group (WB) earlier on Monday.

According to President Hichilema, the World Bank Group has been playing a supportive role in resolving Zambia’s debt crisis. 

On the same day, the President also met with the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations (UN), Beatrice Musimbi Mutali.

During the meeting, the President received letters of accreditation from the UN Resident Coordinator.

Meanwhile, President Hichilema appreciated the UN’s continued support and collaboration in many fields. Also, the president said he looks forward to more cooperation in the future.

Zambia and World Bank Are Working on the Resolving of Debt Crisis

Zambia became the first country to default on its sovereign debt during the epidemic in November 2020.

Accordingly, Zambia has been facing a severe debt crisis that hasn’t been eased during the past two years. According to the latest figures from Zambia’s Ministry of Finance, the country’s total external debt has approached $27 billion. 

Although Zambia has been stuck in such a sovereign debt crisis, the World Bank is relevantly optimistic about Zambia’s economic recovery. During a visit to Zambia in March 2022, the World Bank hereby reaffirmed its support for Zambia.

As of January 31, 2022, WB’s total commitment in Zambia is 1.4 billion US dollars. Meanwhile, the trust fund is about 150 million US dollars, covering livelihood and infrastructure construction, and other aspects.

Zambia-UN Cooperation Focuses on the SDGs

According to the Sustainable Development Report, Zambia’s SDG index score is 54.2, ranking 140 out of 163 countries.

Among 17 SDGs, Zambia is doing a great job on SDG12 (responsible consumption and production) and SDG13 (climate change).

On the contrary, Zambia’s performance on SDG1 (no poverty), SDG15 (life on land), and SDG16 (peace, justice, and strong institutions) need urgent improvement. 

Therefore, the collaboration between the UN and Zambia has been focusing on the above key fields.

For instance, UNICEF‘s work in Zambia emphasizes health, child protection, education, and nutrition.

Furthermore, UNDP is also working on mentioned areas. UNDP’s office in Zambia especially works in four areas. They are environment and energy, governance and gender, inclusive growth, and health systems.