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Our Work

This image shows a medical technician in a clinic providing a service to a local child.
USAID activities work to improve the quality of health care and change attitudes and behaviors, specifically in maternal and child health.
Photo: Chando Mapoma / USAID Zambia

Health and HIV/AIDS

USAID supports Zambia in strengthening its public health system at the national, provincial, and community levels in collaboration with PMI, PEPFAR, and other activities.  In cooperation with Zambia’s health ministries, USAID activities work to improve the quality of health care and change attitudes and behaviors, specifically in maternal and child health, family planning, and the prevention and treatment of diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. 

Through PMI, USAID supports the scale-up of a large indoor residual spraying program, the distribution of insecticide-treated nets, especially for children and pregnant women, and the provision of rapid diagnostic test kits and life-saving medicines.  Since 2008, 8 million insecticide-treated bednets, 20 million diagnostic tests, and 16 million life-saving malaria treatments have been donated to Zambia.  With an HIV prevalence of 13.3 percent, Zambia benefits from USAID’s assistance to scale up integrated prevention, care, and treatment programs to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS, through PEPFAR.  USAID activities also address gender-based violence and provide grassroots-level support to programs offering care and services to over 490,000 orphans and vulnerable children. 

The United States Government, through USAID and PEPFAR, working in collaboration with the Zambian Government, the international donor community, and local partners contributed to the following:  an increase in the number of people on antiretroviral treatment (ART) from 3,500 in 2004 to 720,000 in 2015; a decrease in the rate of HIV incidence by half and of AIDS-related deaths by one-third in the last decade; and a decline in the infection rate for children born to HIV-infected mothers from 45 percent to less than 5 percent. 

Economic Development, Environment, and Food Security

With over 40 percent of Southern Africa’s fresh water and approximately 50 million hectares of intact forest, Zambia still faces increasing threats to its environment, including deforestation, wildlife trafficking, and the growing effects of climate change.  Through the U.S. Global Climate Change Initiative, USAID encourages sustainable natural resource management and broad-based, climate-smart, economic development that promotes resilience and curbs the acceleration of greenhouse gas emissions.  USAID/Zambia environmental programs have helped place over 1,000,000 hectares of land under improved supervision to prevent illegal deforestation, decrease poaching, and promote sustainable land use.

The over-reliance of Zambia’s economy on mining, construction, and urban commerce leaves the agriculturally dependent rural poor behind.  USAID supports country-driven strategies and invests in strengthening both public and private institutions that underpin growth in the agricultural sector.  Through the United States Government’s Feed the Future Initiative, USAID tackles rural poverty and malnutrition with activities that address policy issues, promote access to markets, and assist smallholder farmers to diversify and increase agricultural production and incomes.  In 2015, over 300,000 smallholder Zambian farmers were trained in new agricultural practices through Feed the Future programs, raising their average gross margins for maize and groundnuts.


USAID partners with the Zambian Government and other implementing agencies to improve education quality, as measured by learner performance in early grade reading, by strengthening the capacity of teachers, school administrators, and officials, and by printing and distributing teaching and learning materials.  USAID also champions programs to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on child education and improve equity through water, sanitation, and hygiene actions that promote learning achievement and girls’ education.  Current USAID education programs reach students in all ten provinces at national and grassroots levels.

Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance 

Zambia has a strong record of democratic and free elections and peaceful transitions of power, but the need to promote better governance and reinforce democratic practices remains.  Reforms are required to ensure an independent judiciary and an effective legislature, creating checks and balances that can counter corruption and lack of transparency.  USAID activities reinforce Zambia’s democratic tradition by encouraging citizen participation, strengthening civil society, expanding voter rolls, and supporting better election monitoring.  USAID also promotes improved governance practices that ensure efficient and effective delivery of basic public services for the benefit of all Zambians.

Last updated: April 19, 2017

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