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Ziba urges govt to tread carefully over IMF package

ACTIONAID Zambia has implored the government to tread carefully in its pursuance of the IMF bailout package.

Country director Nalucha Ziba Nganga said the government should unequivocally reject the ideology of austerity with respect to public service financing as promoted by the International Monetary Fund in the past, to invest urgently in public sector workers, especially doctors, nurses, teachers, and care workers.

“Due to plummeting economic growth and unstainable levels of public debt, Zambia has been pursuing an IMF bailout package since 2015. With COVID-19 in the picture, Zambia’s pursuance of an IMF package looks imminent,” she said.

Ziba said without overlooking the significance of the country’s need of an IMF bailout package, ActionAid Zambia however, implores the government to tread carefully in its pursuance of the IMF bailout package

She said the government should seek to safeguard spending to the social sectors even amidst tight fiscal spaces and austerity measures.

And Ziba said access to good quality public services especially by people living in poverty is a route to better lives for themselves and for their communities.

She said the importance of public services could not be overemphasized.

Ziba said public services were key in meeting the needs of the society and, or the public as well as in ensuring that every person enjoyed the life of dignity.

“As a feminist and human rights based civil society organisation, ActionAid believes that public services are important in achieving the global agenda of eradicating poverty. We believe, that the access to good quality public services especially by people living in poverty is a route to better lives for themselves and for their communities, and that a lack of gender-responsive public services is both a source of inequality, and a major barrier to poor and excluded communities especially women in enjoying their rights,” said Ziba.

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