Newly classified as a lower-middle income country by the World Bank, Zambia is one of Africa’s most urbanised countries, with more than 35% of its 13 million people living in towns and cities. It’s a country rich in natural resources, yet unemployment is high and millions continue to live in poverty.
Environment: Zambia’s high levels of poverty are widely attributed to poor agricultural yields exacerbated by erratic weather patterns and regular climatic shocks such as droughts and floods.
Extractive industries: economic growth in Zambia continues to be driven by the mining sector. Yet ordinary Zambians get few benefits from the lucrative copper industry, with the government managing to collect just 14% of its GDP in tax. This has a massive impact on the amount it can spend on healthcare – just 4.8% of the GDP.
HIV and malaria: one in four outpatient cases is due to malaria, which takes a huge toll on the government’s limited health budget. A million Zambians are living with HIV. Young people living in poverty are especially vulnerable to HIV and with 50% of Zambians less than 15 years of age, the risk of cases increasing remains high.
Gender inequality: gender based violence is a serious social issue with almost 50% of women aged over 15 having experienced violence and abuse.
Our work focuses on increasing the social and political power of women; supporting those affected by HIV/AIDS and malaria and contributing to the control of both diseases; creating trade and livelihoods of benefit to the poorest; ensuring people dependant on agriculture can adapt to changes in climate; and helping Zambians access a fairer share of natural resource profits and to hold their government to account.
We are part of the Joint Country Programme for Zambia (JCPZ). The JCPZ works with both faith-based and secular partners, challenging the churches to use their influence on both the government and the church-going Zambian public to influence social change as well as influencing the national agenda towards transparency and accountability of the state to its citizens.
An important partner for JCPZ is the Centre for Trade and Policy Development (CTPD), a trade policy think tank which promotes equitable, pro-poor trade policy and practices. We work closely with CTPD to help Zambians get a fair deal from mining companies exploiting their country’s resources.
We work directly with the Zambia Anglican Council (ZAC) on its Cross Border Malaria Initiative in four districts along Zambia’s borders with Angola and Namibia. Part funded by philanthropists JC Flowers and Neville Isdell, this ambitious project aims to reduce malaria prevalence by 40% in its target areas.
What you can do
• Read how lost taxes could help end malaria related deaths in Zambia and support our campaign to end tax haven secrecy and secure greater tax revenue which could be spent on essential public services.
• Visit our health pages to find out more about our work on HIV and malaria.
• Malaria prevention along Zambia's borders: a short film about the Zambia Anglican Council and its inspiring volunteer Malaria Control Agents.
• A podcast reflection by communications officer Sarah Filbey following her trip to visit ZAC’s malaria control agent groups in early 2011.
• Glencore and First Quantum are subjects of complaint to OECD: CTPD and other campaigning organisations in Zambia hold multinationals to account for tax evasion.
• Watch a film about the impact of tax dodging and health
Share this article