THE burden of population expansion poses a danger to current efforts to lift Zambia to a middle income status by 2030, says UNICEF Zambia officer in-charge Shadrack Omol.
Mr Omol said Zambia had the second highest population expansion rate in the world and that would affect the current efforts to lift Zambia to a middle income status by 2030 and reduce poverty.
“In most countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, including Zambia, the extent and investing in agriculture and social protection in a coherent and coordinated manner is the “the way to go” for reducing poverty,” he said.
He said in Zambia, 65 percent of children lived in poor households and 85 percent of all poor children lived in rural areas.
Mr Omol applauded Government for efforts to end poverty by 2030 and intensifying its social cash protection response to poverty through social cash transfer programmes.
He said the social cash transfer programmes was the flagship intervention of the national social protection policy.
He said UNICEF had the privilege of managing a multi-year impact evaluation of the social cash transfer programmes over the years on behalf of Government.
Mr Omol said the social cash transfer evaluation had clearly exposed the productive, economic, and livelihood impact of the cash transfer programme.
“This aspect of the evaluation provides an extremely useful basis for a policy dialogue around coherent agriculture and social protection policies in Zambia.
“At UNICEF, we greatly welcome this dialogue. In fact the social cash transfer evaluation had clearly exposed the productive, economic and livelihood impact of the cash transfer programme,” he said.
He further said that children who grew up in a more food secure, resilient households were likely to have a better opportunity to become active and productive hence breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty transmission.
UNICEF remained motivated and ready to further intensify the collaboration with the Government to promote and implement the poverty reduction agenda.