Press Release

United Nations provides $5.5 million for Zambia’s Drought Response

26 April 2024

Lusaka, 26 April 2024

The United Nations (UN) has through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) activated an allocation of up to $5.5 million to support Zambia’s response to an unprecedented drought that has left about 7.5 million people in 84 districts in need of assistance, with the majority being women and children. The funding is subject to completion of necessary formalities by UN agencies in Zambia that are delivering as one in supporting the Government-led efforts to provide humanitarian and lifesaving assistance to affected populations.

The CERF funds will help in providing emergency food aid, distributing clean and safe water, protection, and delivering healthcare services to address drought-related health risks, among other needs. The support will also help to strengthen resilience in drought-affected communities to mitigate or avoid the humanitarian impacts of the drought and ensure that emergency relief enhances sustainability. 

The Acting UN Resident Coordinator in Zambia, Penelope Campbell, has welcomed the support from CERF and underscored commitment by the United Nations in helping Zambia respond to the drought emergency.

“We stand in solidarity with the people of Zambia at this challenging time and are happy that CERF has initiated this emergency funding which will help alleviate the difficulties being faced because of the El Niño-induced drought. We commend President Hakainde Hichilema for declaring the drought emergency and further announcing an appeal as that enables the UN and other partners to mobilize support,” said Dr. Campbell. 

The drought has significantly impacted eight (Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, Lusaka, Muchinga, North-Western, Southern and Western provinces) of the country’s 10 provinces. The most affected are Western, Southern, Central and Lusaka provinces. The most vulnerable groups directly affected include small-scale farmers that depend on rainfed agriculture, livestock herders, and individuals reliant on natural water bodies and shallow wells.


About CERF

Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) is one of the fastest and most effective ways to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian assistance reaches people caught up in crises. Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005 as the United Nations global emergency response fund, CERF enables humanitarian responders to deliver life-saving assistance whenever and wherever crises strikeThe main 10 donors to CERF are the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Canada, USA, Belgium and Italy.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Maseko, National Information Officer

United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lusaka, 

P: +260-211-386200



Mark Maseko

Mark Maseko

National Information Officer

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United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office

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