Poverty Reduction

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Photo: UNDP.

During the period 2006-2010, Zambia made significant progress towards meeting the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) particularly in primary school enrollment, child malnutrition and the fight against malaria. However the country will have to make further effort to reduce poverty and maternal mortality, prevent new HIV infections, ensure that children complete secondary school, increase access to clean water and sanitation, and safeguard sustainable environmental development.  Overall positive economic growth rates are not reflected in the efforts to reduce poverty reduction nor in addressing inequalities, which remain especially high in rural areas. 

Zambia has had a generalised HIV epidemic, with an adult prevalence rate of 14.3% (Demographic Health Survey- 2007). Females have a higher prevalence rate (16.1%) than males (12.3%) and young people are disproportionately affected with prevalence rates at 10% for 24 year old males and 15% for the same age group in women. Urban areas are typified by higher HIV prevalence (20%) than rural areas (10%). The main drivers of HIV transmission in Zambia are heterosexual contact and mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy, at birth and during breastfeeding. The epidemiological synthesis indicates that most of the new infections among adults are in individuals whose partners had casual heterosexual sex (37 percent), followed by individuals reporting casual heterosexual sex (34 per cent), those reporting low risk heterosexual sex i.e. mutual monogamy (21 per cent), and clients of female sex workers (4 per cent). Mother to Child Transmission (MTCT) accounts for 10% of new infections (Modes of Transmission -2009).

Our Support

In Zambia, UNDP focusses on the triggers to reduce poverty.  The main pillars of engagement involve: i) analytical work to support the Government in assessing its progress to achieve the MDGs, through the publication  of MDG reports and National Human Development Reports; ii) programmes on inclusive development and the MDGs at the local level, and supporting the National AIDS Council to enhance the management and coordination of the HIV response at all levels  iii) advocacy on the importance of civic engagement and volunteerism in development, and more generally, the policy and resource interventions needed to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs  and (iv)  engaging civil society, in particular the youth on the post-2015 consultations on “The Future Zambia Wants”. UNDP is also working with local civil society organisations and Higher Learning Institutions to localize and sharpen existing analytical tools and products on profiling poverty and human development at the local level