Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. Despite political stability and more than a decade of consistent economic growth, the country faces numerous challenges including food insecurity, undernutrition, chronic poverty and natural disasters.
Unpredictable weather patterns have affected communities over the last decade. Farmers rely heavily on seasonal rains and subsistence-style farming is common in the country. The Zambian climate is favourable for growing a range of crops including maize, cotton, tobacco, and groundnuts.
Zambia was reclassified by the World Bank as a lower middle-income country in 2011. While it has maintained steady economic growth rates for the past decade, human development indicators remain static, with the country still ranking 139 out of 188 countries in the 2015 Human Development Index.
WFP has been in the country since 1967.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Zambia
WFP in Zambia hosts and co-facilitates the Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) Business Network. The Network – comprising 60 organizations, including at least 30 local businesses – aims to increase awareness and the demand for nutritious products; strengthen commercial engagement within the nutrition marketplace; and improve the regulatory environment for nutrition.
Building resilience and responses to climate change
Through the Rural Resilience Initiative (R4), WFP in Zambia is helping smallholder farmers to address the risks posed by climate change-related events, such as drought. This is done through conservation agriculture activities supported by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Targeted smallholder families are equipped with strategies to help build resilience over time and escape poverty and food and nutrition insecurity.
Response to El Niño
Developed with support from WFP and other agencies to respond to the recent El Niño weather event, the Government’s Integrated Emergency Response Programme includes interventions such as social cash transfers, maize distribution, emergency school feeding, nutrition surveillance and emergency supplementary and therapeutic feeding for infants and children under 5.