Cooperation Factsheet

The Delegation of the European Commission to the Republic of Zambia is responsible for managing official relations between the European Union (EU) and Zambia as well as with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

One of the Delegation's main activities is to ensure the effective implementation of EU development assistance to Zambia. Most programmes are financed under the European Development Fund (EDF), the main instrument for providing EU assistance to countries in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP), under the Cotonou Agreement. EDF assistance is in form of grants. Programmes are reflected in the Country Strategy Paper –National Indicative Programme (CSP – NIP), which fits into the five-year cycle of each EDF and is a result of negotiations with the Zambian Government, Civil Society, EU Member States and other Cooperating Partners.

EDF programmes

Under the 9th EDF (2002 – 2007), Zambia was allocated €369 million (A - Envelope) to finance Poverty Reduction Budget Support, Transport Infrastructure, Capacity Building, Education, Health, and Agriculture/Food Security. Zambia received an additional €19.2 million (B - Envelope) to cover unforeseen needs related to instability in export earnings, as well as humanitarian assistance, including the repatriation of Angolan refugees managed by the European Commission's Department of Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). Additional EDF funds were also used to cover the repatriation of Congolese refugees (ECHO) and post-floods 2007 recovery.

Main Envelope A 9th EDF programmes

Grant amount (M)

Execution period

Poverty Reduction
Budget Support (PRBS)



2004 - 2006



2007 - 2009

Support to PEMFA



Road Sector Budget Support



Zimba – Livingstone road



Agriculture & Food Security



Private Sector CapacityBuilding



Education & Health



Under the 10th EDF (2008 – 2013), the EU will provide €475 million (A - Envelope), focussing on Poverty Reduction Budget Support, Transport Infrastructure and Health. These areas of intervention are in line with the Government's Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) and the Joint Assistance Strategy Zambia (JASZ) of Cooperating Partners. An additional €14.8 million (B-Envelope) is the initial allocation for unforeseen needs. In 2008, the Commission decided on a first Annual Action Programme of €346 million. Five priority interventions have been retained for this purpose as part of this new EDF programme:

  • Macroeconomic stability and poverty reduction with € 225 million. Through a novel modality – the MDG Contract – direct budget support will be made available in support to macroeconomic stability whilst allowing for enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of poverty focused actions implemented through the budget. This is expected to result in improved public finance management, enhanced service delivery in the social sectors, and promotion of reforms that enable job creation and pro-poor growth.
  • Road sector policy support to the tune of €77 million:  Contributing to the national road sector programme for the period 2003-2014 (ROADSIP II), the EDF contribution is to further contribute to the promotion of equitable economic growth and poverty reduction and the enhancement of food security. More specifically, the programme will improve accessibility, mobility and connectivity at district, provincial and national level promoting basic access for people and goods, and contributing to regional integration. Support amounting to €38 million to improve regional integration through road infrastructure interventions will be provided for the Great East Road forming part of the Nacala Corridor on the Zambian Side. 
  • Health sector policy support with €35 million (approved Financing Agreement Sector Budget Support 2009 – 2011). The Zambian policy framework for health coherently reflects the ambition of a developing country that aims at providing a basic health care package "as close to the family as possible". In this respect, the EDF funding will contribute to improving health service delivery with a view to bringing the country closer to the health Millennium Development Goals. The total 10th EDF envelope for health is  €59 million; the remaining funding of €24 million will be committed later.
  • Strengthening the electoral system with €7.4 million: The programme will support the capacities of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), the Department for National Registration (DNR) as well as civil society, media and Political parties. This will include more efficient, accessible and accurate civil registration and voter registration systems.
  • The fight against child trafficking and child labour with €1.6 million. In partnership with UNICEF, the project will contribute to the protection of children from the harmful effects of trafficking and premature labour.

10th EDF A envelope programmes 

Total initial grant  (M€)

Budget share (%)


Transport Infrastructure






General Budget Support




Food security & agricultural diversification



Support for Governance



Support for Non-State Actors









ACP-EU Water and Energy Facilities (9th EDF)

Under the Water Facility, six projects of a total amount of €13.5 million are under implementation, including three grant contracts with NGOs, one contribution agreement (Red Cross) and two financing agreements with public entities (Ministry of Energy and Water Development, National Water Supply and Sanitation Council). The scope of activities goes from the setting up an integrated water resources management system for Zambia to the provision of safe water and proper sanitation to poor peri-urban and rural areas.

Under the Energy Facility, two projects have been allocated  an EU contribution of €20 million (€10 million each), both aiming at increasing access to electricity services mainly in rural areas. They include one administration agreement with the World Bank and one financing agreement with public entities (Ministry of Energy and Water Development, Rural Electrification Authority). Activities of these projects will start in 2009.

Thematic Budget lines

The current budget lines project portfolio managed by the Delegation comprises 24 NGO projects for a total grant amount of €20 million in the following sectors: Food aid/Food Security, Water Supply and Sanitation, Basic Health, Social Services, Rural Development, Capacity Building to Non State Actors and support to Local Authorities.
Moreover, Zambia has been allocated €3,050, 000 under the Budget 2008 for the Thematic Programme "Non - State Actors and Local Authorities in Development". The corresponding Calls for Proposals were launched in January 2009.

Food Aid

Nine NGO projects for a total grant amount of €5 million are currently being financed by the budget lines Food Aid and Food Security. These projects are being implemented in Copperbelt, Southern, Eastern, Central, Western and North-Western Provinces. The main objective is to improve the nutritional status and livelihoods of the most food-insecure and nutritionally- vulnerable groups, with a special focus on people living with HIV/AIDS and their households.

Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol Countries: This sugar multi-annual programme (€6 million for the period 2007-2010) intends to achieve an increase in the contribution of the sugar sector to Zambia's socio-economic development. It mainly supports the expansion of sugar production by means of out-grower schemes, the reduction of transport costs to improve Zambian sugar competitiveness, the diversification of production (bio-fuel and electricity co-generation) and the preparation of policies and regulatory environment related to sugar sector strategy. Linkages are possible with planned projects or sector support under the 10th EDF Zambia CSP-NIP.

European Investment Bank loans

Under the various EU mandates of the Cotonou and Lomé Agreements, the European Investment Bank (EIB) supports the economic development of Zambia through investments (loans, quasi-equity, equity and guarantees) in projects sponsored either by the public or the private sector. The existing portfolio of investments is funded from (i) EIB’s own resources, under guarantee by the EU Member States; and (ii) risk capital resources (EDF), through the EC under the various Lomé Agreements and the Investment Facility of the Cotonou Agreement.

At the end of 2008, EIB’s signed portfolio of 43 loans in Zambia, beginning in 1978, stood at € 484.5 million, of which € 423.1 million has been disbursed to date, with a remaining balance of € 28.4 million still to be disbursed, representing one of the highest per capita lending ratios in the ACPs. Under the two Financial Protocols of the past Lomé IV Convention, EIB signed commitments for a total of €188 million (all of them on risk capital resources). Under the Cotonou Agreement eight loans for a total of € 224 million have been signed.

Sectors of activity: The portfolio of EIB in Zambia has been traditionally concentrated in the mining sector, reflecting the importance of mining in the economy (75% of foreign exchange earning come from copper). A large part of the remaining balance is concentrated in the financial sector, particularly in credit lines to local banks with strong risk-sharing features. These lines have had a very positive impact on the access to finance of SMEs, both in the agricultural and manufacturing sector.

Activities in 2008: The activities of the EIB in 2008 were focussed on closely monitoring the implementation of the various mining investments financed over the last few years, with special emphasis on the environmental aspects. A new Global Loan (now in its 3rd edition) of US$ 20 million was signed with five local banks(1) in Lusaka on 26th November 2008, coinciding with the latest EIB mission to the country. This credit line is targeted to small and medium size enterprises.

(1) Finance Bank, Stanbic Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, African Banking Corporation and Investrust.


For more information:
Namambo Delot
Press and Information Officer
EU Delegation to Zambia: tel.: 021 1 250711;
European Investment Bank

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