A BUDGET analysis report on allocations and disbursements to climate change programmes and projects has revealed that only nine per cent of the amount allocated was released to fund climate change activities between 2016 and 2018.
According to the report released by the Ministry of National Development Planning, only nine per cent of the amount allocated towards climate change programmes was released making this government function expenditure consistently lower than the budgeted-for allocations.
“Over the period under review, the approved funding and expenditure has been consistently lower than the budgeted allocations. Only nine per cent of the budget allocated was released to fund climate change activities. It is, however, not known what happened to the 91 per cent of the budget allocation. This may have affected the pace of delivery of major projects related to climate change programmes and this is usually attributable to low absorptive capacity and diversion of funds to meet critical/unforeseen contingencies/events during budget execution,” it read.
It further revealed that in 2016, the Ministry of Tourism and Arts was the only Ministry that received 100 per cent of budgeted climate change funds all of which were utilised.
“In 2016, we noted that the Ministry of Tourism and Arts is the only Ministry that received 100 per cent of budgeted climate change funds and in terms of actual expenditure vs disbursements; the Ministry also utilised 100 per cent of the funds disbursed. The Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Lands and natural resources had only three per cent and one per cent, respectively, of budgeted funds disbursed for utilisation. However, despite the minimal funding, these two ministries also utilised 100 per cent of the funds disbursed to them towards climate change interventions. This shows dedicated commitment by key-line ministries in the productive sector towards realising the national climate change objective as stated in the revised Seventh National Development Plan of Zambia,” the report read.
“In addition to the above, the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries received four per cent and six per cent, respectively, of budgeted funds disbursed for climate change activities. Their figures are slightly high compared to the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and Natural Resources. But when it comes to percentage variance of actual expenditure vs disbursements, they only utilised 69 per cent and 59 per cent, respectively. From our experience, dealing with government entities, it is likely that the remaining balance of 31 per cent and 41 per cent of funds, respectively, were diverted to attend to some unforeseen contingencies not related to climate change interventions.”
The report further highlighted that 95 per cent of funding towards climate change programmes derived from donors with government only funding the remaining five per cent.
“For the period under review, we noted that 95 per cent of funding towards the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation activities came from donors with only five per cent funding coming from the Government of Zambia’s Treasury. This indicates that government heavily relies on funding from donors, such as AfDB, USAID, GEF, SIDA, EU and the German government, among others. Such heavy reliance on donor funds could be very risky to key sectors of the economy and the whole country in general. Lack of donor funding support will mean that climate change effects could result in a serious adverse impact on the performance sustainability of Zambians productive sectors, such as agriculture, livestock and fisheries,” it read.
And the report stated that the total number of climate change relevant programmes identified from the national budget marginally increased over the period under review from 17 in 2016 to 28 in 2018.
“The total number of climate change relevant programmes identified from the Yellow Book has increased marginally over the period 2016 to 2018 from 17 programmes in 2016 to 28 programmes in 2018. This highlights the importance GRZ has attached to climate change adaptation and mitigation interventions,” read the report.
“Based on figures obtained from the budget tracking tool developed as part of the assignment, Zambia has seen a significant increase in the national budget allocation for climate change-relevant activities since 2016, both in absolute and relative terms over the three-year period studied. Zambia’s budgeted amount for such activities grew from K133 million in 2016 to K931 million in 2018. This represents significant growth 599 per cent over the three years.”