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Zambia: Poverty and Vulnerability Assessment

Report No. 32573-ZM

World Bank

29 June 2005

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In partnership with Zambian researchers and development specialists, as well as DFID/Lusaka and other international partners, the Bank has prepared a Poverty and Vulnerability Assessment (PVA) for Zambia, with the aim of (i) updating the last World Bank Poverty Assessment (1994); (ii) facilitating an informed debate among stakeholders in Zambia about priority policies and programs to reduce poverty and vulnerability; and (iii) thus support the preparation of Zambia's 5th National Development Plan, which will serve as the country?s next PRSP. The PVA is based on new studies as well as a substantial and diverse body of existing work on poverty and living conditions in Zambia.

The PVA process is highly consultative; it has involved Zambian NGOs and researchers, partners in the development community, and government counterparts at key stages. An early concept note was discussed with local stakeholders before being finalized; PVA background papers were disseminated and discussed in 2-day NGO-sponsored workshop in February, also in a seminar with development partners; and the draft final report has been distributed to a range of stakeholders in Zambia as well as to Government. It will be discussed in a workshop with Government and Zambian stakeholders, then revised and finalized for wider distribution.

The PVA uses the multidimensional characterization of poverty captured in the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) and reflected in Zambia's current Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). It includes (1) a stocktaking of the poverty reduction strategy embodied in the PRSP and progress achieved thus far; (2) an update of the poverty profile, sources of vulnerability, and poverty diagnostics, including quantitative analysis as well as participatory appraisals; (3) an related assessment of risk and sources of vulnerability for poor individuals and families; and (4) in-depth analyses of selected policies and thematic areas that are of particular relevance for reducing poverty and managing risk and vulnerability, including policies for pro-poor growth, with particular focus on the rural poor and small-holder agriculture, HIV/AIDS and poverty, and malnutrition. The report suggests priority areas for consolidation and improvement in Zambia's current poverty reduction strategy.

The draft PVA report and key background papers have been put on the SARPN website to encourage further discussion and comments; the PVA team would much appreciate hearing your views. Correspondence should be sent to Valerie Kozel at the World Bank (

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