The World Bank has approved a $207.6 million grant as the second round of funding for the Scaling-Up Shock Responsive Social Protection Project. This funding, which includes $200 million from the International Development Association (IDA) and $7.6 million from the Zambia Girls’ Education and Women’s Empowerment and Livelihood (GEWEL) Multi-Donor Trust Fund, aims to assist the Zambian Government in effectively responding to the impact of drought. The funding will be used for increasing the transfer value to existing social cash transfer beneficiaries and recruiting additional beneficiaries in the affected districts under the emergency drought response strategy.

Dr. Floribert Ngaruko, the World Bank Executive Director for Africa Group 1 Constituency, confirmed the approval in a letter addressed to Dr. Situmbeko Musokotwane, the Finance and National Planning Minister. The letter stated that the additional financing will provide support to over 1.6 million households across 84 drought-impacted districts for a period of 12 months.

Dr. Musokotwane expressed gratitude to the World Bank for the approved funds, which will be instrumental in addressing the adverse effects of the ongoing drought and complementing the country's drought response plan. He also acknowledged the assistance from the World Bank amid multiple crises faced by Zambia, including a severe cholera outbreak and a national emergency due to the worst drought on record, affecting approximately 6.6 million people.

The approval of the second additional financing by the World Bank is seen as a vote of confidence in Zambia's economic reforms and public financial governance. This $207.6 million grant aligns with the efforts to mitigate the extensive drought's adverse effects with limited domestic resources. Additionally, Dr. Musokotwane emphasized the collaborative efforts with local and international partners to overcome the challenges and ensure food security for the region in the medium-term.

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