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Development Cooperation

Ireland has partnered with the Government of Zambia since 1980 to promote development. The Embassy of Ireland, through the Irish Aid programme, promotes innovate and catalytic solutions to improve the lives of poor Zambians and create a sustainable economic structure for Zambia to become self-sufficient in providing for its citizens.

Ireland has made significant contributions in Social Protection, Health, Education, Water and Sanitation, Governance and the fight against HIV and AIDS targeting poor communities in both urban and rural areas.

Central to Ireland's current Development Cooperation interventions are women and girls living in poverty. Strategies and programmes focus on ensuring that these groups as well as other vulnerable groups contribute to and benefit from sustainable development through a range of interventions that are delivered through Civil Society Organisations and Private Sector that work to better the lives of Zambians.


Irish Aid sponsored students at a Secondary School, Kabwe, Central Zambia. In the picture, left to right are Dina, Adija and Lisa.

Ireland has built a strong reputation for its contribution to the education sector in Zambia.  The current focus is on promoting the development of technical skills for Zambian youths and facilitating access to secondary education for girls and children from poor families.  Since 2013, the Embassy partnered with the Campaign for Female Education to support 20,000 vulnerable girls with items required to keep them in school and 2,792 girls in to access and progress through secondary schools in rural Zambia. In 2019 a total of 645 are being supported to complete secondary school while 88 are supported with tertiary education. A further partnership with Zambian Open Community Schools (ZOCS) is providing bursary support to girls and boys from community schools to continue with their education.  This support will continue until all the children complete a full cycle of education.  The Embassy also supported girls from rural areas who had completed secondary education to access a brick laying and plastering skills course. In addition to direct support, the Embassy engages with the government to support policy formation and decisions to improve general service delivery in the education sector. 


Irish Aid sponsored girls in the bricklaying and plastering course, with their Course Lecturer and Principle at Thorn Park Skills Training Centre, Lusaka, Zambia (2018)

We also play a central role in promoting better nutrition in Zambia. Poor nutrition and diet results in alarmingly high rates of stunting - approximately 40%. Stunting is a major concern as it not only affects growth, but can inhibit brain development in young children. The future of Zambia will depend on the health and capacity of the youth of today. We work through partnerships with government organisations, donor partners and private sector to change practical and cultural barriers to better nutrition.  The government of Zambia has signed up to commit US$40 per child per annum in nutrition beginning with 2019 national budget. Previously it was US$1.

More detail on the Irish Aid programme is available in our Country Strategy Paper 2018-2022