Zambia is a stable southern African country with a population of about 12 million. Six out of ten Zambians are under 25 years of age. Approximately 61 percent of Zambians live in rural areas. One out of three lives on less than US$1.25/day. Zambia ranks 163 out of 187 countries on the United Nations Development Programme's 2012 human development index.
Zambia is likely to meet the Millennium Development Goal targets of halving the proportion of its people who suffer from hunger, providing universal primary education and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015. It has also reduced maternal and child mortality.
In 2008, Zambia cemented its democratic credentials with a presidential by-election judged free and fair by observers. The country is striving to implement an anti-corruption policy and increase the transparency of financial management systems.
The 2008 global financial crisis caused a steep fall in price and demand for Zambia's primary export, copper, reducing government revenue and causing significant job losses. The Government of Zambia has responded with appropriate fiscal and monetary policies, and social programs have been protected.
Canada's international development programming in Zambia is closely aligned with Zambia's poverty reduction strategy for 2006-2010, The Fifth National Development Plan (PDF, 4 MB, 402 pages), which aims to reduce poverty and improve access to basic services.
The goal of Canada's program in Zambia is to help the country secure a future for children and youth by improving health systems and maternal and child health.
Canada continues to support efforts to help Zambia increase the quality and number of front-line health workers and ensure equitable health services in underserved regions of the country. This includes strengthening the capacities of community health volunteers, health workers and managers at the district, provincial and national levels, and improving the integrated management of childhood diseases. Canada works through organizations such as UNICEF and CARE while the Government of Zambia implements necessary reforms to the Ministry of Health's procurement and financial management systems.
Zambia adheres to the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (PDF, 317 KB, 23 pages). Sixteen donors, including Canada, have prepared a joint assistance strategy (PDF, 1 MB, 95 pages) to harmonize and align donor assistance with the country's development plan. The Government of Zambia has shown strong local ownership and is committed to monitoring and reporting on aid effectiveness.
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