United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative Gift Malunga says Seventh National Development Plan will address a number of developmental challenges that Zambia experiences if well-implemented.

Ministry of National Development Planning spokesperson Chibaula Silwamba stated, Monday, that Malunga commended the Zambian Government for developing a well-articulated plan, which was aligned to international development agendas such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The new Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Gift Malunga, has commended the Zambian government for developing a well-articulated 7th National Development Plan (SNDP), initiatives being undertaken on empowerment of women and girls, and strong leadership in sexual and reproductive health. Ms. Malunga said this when she paid a courtesy call on the Minister of National Development Planning, Honourable Alexander Chiteme, on Monday. The new Country Representative said the SNDP is aligned to international development agendas like the SDGs, adding that the model the Government of Zambia has undertaken in the plan will help address a number of developmental challenges if well-implemented. Ms. Malunga appreciated the government leadership on many development undertakings, most of which were in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs. Ms. Malunga commended government for taking up steps in revising the National Population Policy,” read the statement.

“She appreciated Zambia’s commitment and progress in reducing maternal mortality. Ms. Malunga pledged UNFPA’s commitment to provide technical and other forms of support to the Zambia’s quest to undertake the national census in 2020. She also pledged to support the Minister in engaging cooperating partners to seek their support towards the conducting of the Census. The new Country Representative of UNFPA commended the first lady, Esther Lungu, for the work she was doing. Ms. Malunga requested the Ministry of National Development Planning to extend an invitation to other ministers and the first lady, to participate in this year’s World Population Day set for July 11, under the theme – Family Planning: Empowering People, Developing Nations. The UNFPA Country Chief said family planning was a development issue, which like the SNDP required an integrated and multi-sectoral approach. And the Minister commended UNFPA for its close collaboration with the Government of Zambia in its development agenda.”

Silwamba also stated that National Development Minister Alexander Chiteme commended the UNFPA for supporting and working on various targeted interventions in Zambia.

“Hon. Chiteme said: ‘currently UNFPA has been supporting and working on various targeted interventions in Zambia. Among the areas of interventions in these provinces has been in the nutrition services, health systems strengthening, programmes for young persons with disabilities, programmes to end child marriage, capacity development and data for development actions, including sub-national analysis at district and constituency level’ said Hon. Chiteme. The Minister said the government looked forward to continued collaboration with the UNFPA and UN agencies to achieve its national development agenda,” read the statement.