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The cost of living in Zambia

2 September 2022

JCTR team - 2022

At SCIAF, we want to do more than just feed people - we want to tackle the root causes of poverty which leave people with no food. Across the world, this long-term work is made possible through our local partners who advocate for change in their communities and help families access the basic needs required to build a bright future.

Ben Wilson - testimonial
This work is crucial – it holds the Zambian Government to account and provides data to lobby for real-world solutions. Without evidence of poverty, long-term policy responses cannot be developed.

Ben Wilson SCIAF Partner Advocacy Officer

Food insecurity in Zambia

It is one of the world’s greatest injustices that millions of families still go to bed hungry when food is wasted elsewhere. In Zambia, many people survive on just one or two meals per day, and the situation is set to get much worse as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and climate change deepen.

Using advocacy to tackle hunger

In Zambia, thanks to your generous support, we’re working with our partner, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR), to track the cost of living so that the government can be held to account for its support of the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

How JCTR is helping

  • JCTR tracks the cost of living in Zambia by collecting prices of selected nutritious foods and non-food items each month, such as maize or medicine.
  • Analysis of these prices over many years allows JCTR to assess how prices are changing, and whether people’s incomes are keeping pace.
  • Findings show that the gap between the cost of living and income is getting bigger.
  • The cost of living in Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka, rose from £380 per month in 2020 to £475 in 2022. This contrasts with average income which is below £260 a month.
  • JCTR uses this evidence to campaign to government to change their policies and support the poorest and most vulnerable communities. This information is also used to support workers in salary negotiations, inform parliamentary debates, and direct government policy on wages and tax.