About two-thirds of Zambians live in poverty. With an adult HIV prevalence rate of 13.5 per cent, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS is around 980,000 - 7.7% of the total population - and the number of orphans due to AIDS is around 690,000 - 5.4% of total population. The main humanitarian emergencies experienced by Zambia are drought and floods, both often affecting food security. The rainfall season does not just lead to flooding but also to the outbreak of water-borne diseases. Of particular concern is cholera which, over the past few years, has become endemic. Per capita, Zambia is one of the biggest recipients of official development assistance in Africa, receiving over US$1 billion in 2007 (latest official figures).
Since 2007, OCHA ROSA has been supporting various activities in Zambia, including:
- The development of a comprehensive contingency plan covering floods.
- Establishing a joint memorandum of understanding (MoU) with OXFAM, UNICEF, WHO and OCHA ROSA, aimed at ensuring a more coordinated response to countries that experience cholera, including Zambia.
- Reviewing Government Emergency Preparedness and Response Information management systems through a SADC IM project that seeks to strengthen SADC Member States Disasters Management Authorities information management capacity
- Facilitation of the submission of a project proposal from the UN Resident Coordinator on pandemic preparedness (totalling US$95,000) to the UN’s Central Fund for Influenza Action to strengthen disaster preparedness and response.