Donors commit funds to Zambia's poverty-reduction

from Xinhua
Published on 06 Dec 2007
LUSAKA, Dec 6, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The donor community Thursday reaffirmed its support for Zambia in its poverty reduction program by committing funds for the country's next year budget.

The European Commission (EC), Finland, Germany, the United Kingdom's Department for International Development, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden made the affirmation at a press briefing held here Thursday.

The donors confirmed their commitment to provide 160 million U. S. dollars in poverty reduction support for Zambia's 2008 budget.

Poverty reduction support by cooperating partners provides funding directly to a partner government's budget in support of its programs to assist poverty reduction, including improvements to service delivery.

"We commend the government for its broad commitment to poverty reduction, macroeconomic stability, sound public financial management and good governance," Rafael Aguirre, head of operations at the EC offices in Zambia, said at the briefing.

He said the support has been prompted by Zambia's commitment to the principles of good governance and sound financial management as well as macro economic stability.

The donors have, however, expressed concern with regard to Zambia's funding for productive investments in the agriculture sector and budget execution in general.

The donors urged the government to continue making headways in the fight against corruption, stressing that transparency and accountability in the use of public funds required strong institutions.