By NATION REPORTER
KAMALA Harris, the Vice-President of the United States has announced a US$505 million bilateral assistance to Zambia that will see increased investment democratic institutions and good governance, political accountability and leadership project, bolstering health cooperation, global health security as well as inclusive COVID-19 response recovery and promoting innovative food security, energy and climate solutions.
And Vice President Harris has announced that the US shall continue with the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programme which has been in Zambia for the last 20 years.
Vice President Harris’ arrival in Lusaka is a demonstration of the United States’ commitment to advancing its cooperation with Zambia that would see the two countries have renewed focus on economic transformation, increased investment in democracy, and governance programming as well as expanded global health efforts.
According to the United States Embassy in Lusaka, Vice President Harris who arrived in the country yesterday came with a pledge of the US$505 million investment in various sectors as the two countries work to maintain strong relationship based on shared democratic values, growing commercial engagement, long-lasting health cooperation and people-to-people ties.
In a fact sheet detailing initiative to advance the US partnership with Zambia, the US embassy says the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was planning to provide US$10 million to support Zambia and non-stakeholder efforts to promote democratic and accountable local governance.
The statement says the USAID was to provide US$3.5 million for the support of the civil society in an effort to implement reforms and oversight activities with the aim of deepening Zambia’s democratic processes and the support of women participation.
The US$3.5 million shall be spent on the promotion of electoral integrity by fostering greater transparency and effectiveness of the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
“In strengthening good financial governance, the USAID plans to participate in a new four-year Strengthening Good Financial Governance project with the government of the Republic of Zambia to strengthen its financial management system. The United States will contribute US$3 million to the programme,” the US embassy says.
In bolstering health cooperation, Vice President Harris has announced that the US shall continue with the PEPFAR programme to which it has provided more than US$5.2 billion in support of Zambia’s national HIV response from 2002.
“These investments have helped increase Zambia’s average life expectancy by 20 years and currently provide nearly 90 percent of the funding for the Zambia national HIV response including the provision of life-saving HIV medication to over 1.2 million Zambians. Over the next two years, the United States plans to deploy more than US$372.1 million in appropriated funding and has requested an additional US$387,.9 million in the President’s Financial Year 2024 budget,” the US embassy said.
Vice President Harris says the US under the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is planning to invest about US$28 million over the next year in partnership with the government of Zambia to deploy life-saving interventions proven to fight malaria, including bed nets, fast acting malaria medicines, rapid diagnostic tests and preventive treatment in pregnancy.
Vice President Harris says the US government through the US Centre for Disease Control and USAID shall provide US$17 million over the next three years in support of efforts to enhance global health security and pandemic preparedness.