Healthy nation key to financial inclusion – FSD Zambia

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    ZAMBIAN Financial Sector Deepening (FSD Zambia) says it has turned its strategies to fight the COVID-19 because a healthy nation is needed to achieve financial inclusion of citizens.

    Speaking on the COVID-19 pre-update chat on ZNBC Television on Monday, FSD Zambia director financial services supply Mauwa Lungu said her organisation was now resolved to support the government in curbing the spread of the pandemic which has now infected close to five million people and killed over 300,000 worldwide.

    So far, Zambia has 761 confirmed cases of the COVID-19, with seven deaths and 192 recoveries. 562 people remain hospitalized in different isolation facilities.

    Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya has warned that Zambia’s infections were on the rise and this has worried FSD Zambia.

    Lungu said the COVID-19 threatened to exclude Zambians from participating in the economy.

    “For us to drive economic activity and to make our people financially included, we need a healthy nation and that’s why most of our strategy has turned around to make sure that people are sensitised about COVID-19,” Lungu said.

    “And so for FSD Zambia, we are here to support the government of the day in the drive for sensitisation people against COVID-19.”

    She revealed that FSD Zambia was planning to distribute mobile phones that would come with COVID-19 sensitisation messages to low-income women in four provinces.

    “We are planning on distributing phones in support for digital financial services to four provinces and this we are doing to enhance the use of digital services and also to support the government in the COVID-19 sensitisation. We do also plan to in-cooperate sensitisation messages about COVID-19 in our distribution of these phones,” she said.

    “So we are targeting mostly women but these are targeted to low-income individuals because we are an organisation that targets low-income individuals and households.”

    Lungu added that FSD Zambia had another project aiming at empowering small-scale tailors whose businesses had been affected by the pandemic.

    “We plan to help them somehow in terms of their working capital, and so we are working with a lot of partners….they will be tailoring face masks,” she said. 

    And featuring on the same programme, FSD Zambia head of communications Eneyah Phiri said the organisation was working with key players in the Zambian economy to ensure that all citizens are financially healthy.

    Phiri explained that FSD Zambia’s work was to ensure that financial markets were working for Zambians to reduce poverty among low-income households.

    “We are working with rural communities and smallholder farmers so that we can give them an opportunity to choose and use a wide range of financial services that have the most impact on their lives,” said Phiri.

    ©Kalemba 20, 2020

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