Devastating droughts and floods have already pushed many ordinary Zambians deeper into poverty, and will cripple our economy unless the rich nations who caused global warming provide the funds to enable Zambia to cope with ever-increasing climate loss and damage.
We welcome plans for debt restructuring as an urgent first step towards building a sustainable economy that delivers for all Zambians. There are three factors that will be critical for success:
- Investment in public services, including health and education, must continue to increase. This may mean enhancing tax revenues in order to avoid any cuts or freezes to public sector wages.
- Zambia's steps to repay its financial debt to the rich world must be matched by rich world commitments to repay the massive climate debt it owes to Zambia. Global warming caused by industrialised countries has already saddled the country with devastating droughts and floods, and the impacts on farmers, women and the poor are only going to get worse. Without substantial new climate financing from the international community, any chance of building a resilient and inclusive economy will soon be crippled by mounting loss and damage from climate change.
- The process must be transparent and accountable. The Public Debt Management Bill will need intense scrutiny to ensure that it is both independent and effective.
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