Zambia sits in south-central Africa and borders eight countries. The country is named for the Zambezi River, which flows from northern Zambia to the Indian Ocean.

  • Population: 14,075,100
  • Life Expectancy: 57 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 64%
  • School Enrollment: 97%
  • Land Mass: 290,587 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 61%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 89/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 1,350

Facts about Zambia

Economic Development

Lack of employment still remains a big challenge for the country. Reports indicate that only 600,000 of the total population of the country’s 13 million people are in formal employment.


Zambia has a high HIV prevalence rate. The HIV epidemic in Zambia impacts women and girls more than men and boys.

Food & Agriculture

Zambia depends heavily on agriculture, but inconsistent rainfall patterns have threatened farming seasons recently. This has led to food insecurity.

Zambia flag


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Progress in Zambia

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2014.

  • Religious leaders, school teachers, community members, and children received trainings on various child protection issues including the harmful effects of early marriage, the importance of girls' education, and youth participation in decision making.

  • To mitigate risks from natural disasters, we formed disaster response committees that planned early warning systems, updated emergency preparedness plans, and trained other community members.

  • Savings groups continued providing interest-earning savings accounts and small, affordable loans for people who don’t have access to traditional banking services, empowering them to plan for the future, start businesses, and meet their children’s basic needs.

  • Children's literacy rates increased when we trained teachers on reading methods, provided new books and textbooks, built local libraries, and offered tutoring through children's clubs.

  • Farmers were trained in livestock management, crop diversification, household gardens, and improved agricultural technologies in order to increase food supplies and generate new sources of family income.

  • Children in rural villages received life saving vaccines and medications when we partnered with district community medical offices to conduct immunization campaigns. We provided vaccines, Vitamin A supplements, and deworming medication, as well as fuel for vehicles and logistical support to deliver the medical supplies to remote locations.

  • We raised awareness of HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment through community education, Anti-AIDS clubs in schools, voluntary counseling and testing events, and trainings for local government, school, and religious leaders.

  • We partnered with local churches to improve the lives of children and their families and to teach about responsibility, leadership, self-esteem, and the surpassing love of Jesus Christ.

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    World Vision in Zambia Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Zambia to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 42,300 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Zambia. Highlights include:

    • Creating interventions aimed at preventing new infections, particularly among newborns.
    • Improving access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene.
    • Helping communities build the ability to recover from natural disasters.
    • Helping families to diversify food and income sources.

    World Vision History in Zambia

    In 1981-1982, World Vision began its work in Zambia by hosting a Christian Council conference in Livingstone and initiating a child sponsorship program. Since then, some of World Vision’s major accomplishments have included:

    • Assisting communities suffering from drought, providing children with food and clothing, and increasing access to clinics and clean water during the 1980s.
    • Providing thousands of people affected by flooding with food, blankets, medicine, and insecticides to combat malaria in 1989.
    • Helping women in healthcare, child rearing, and education, as well as offering HIV and AIDS education during the 1990s.
    • Providing communities with access to clean water for drinking and agriculture and offering water sanitation training since the 21st century.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Zambia sits in south-central Africa and borders eight countries. The country is named for the Zambezi River, which flows from northern Zambia to the Indian Ocean.

    High plateaus, hills, mountains, grassy plains, and marshland fill the landscape. The climate is tropical, with some areas experiencing a six-month rainy season. Natural resources include cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, gems, precious metals, and hydropower.

    People of Bantu origin make up most of the population. The country’s official language is English, but Zambians use Bemba more often. Zambians also speak more than 70 other languages. Most people are involved in agriculture, growing corn, rice, peanuts, vegetables, cotton, and coffee.

    Rural Zambians usually live with their extended families in houses that are clustered together. Family members share work, assets, and the experiences of daily life. A large family means more hands to help on the farm and helps to ensure care for the parents as they age.


    Formerly the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia, Zambia achieved independence in 1964. The country held its first multi-party elections in 1991 after 30 years as a one-party state.

    Elections over the next decade were democratic but controversial. In 2002, the president began an anticorruption investigation into the previous administration.

    During the threat of famine in 2002, the president refused to accept any international donations of genetically modified food. In 2003, impeachment proceedings against the president were rejected by Parliament.

    Zambia continues to hold democratic elections today.

    Prayer Requests for Zambia

    • Please pray for communities working with World Vision to drill new borehole wells and manage other water sources.
    • Pray also for new savings groups, which introduced over 2,000 people to financial literacy.