An Analytical Brief on the Social Sector Budget 2022: Increasing Social Sector Spending for Sustained Inclusive Development

The 2022 budget reflects an increased commitment to the social sectors, with significant nominal increases to education, health, social protection, WASH and nutrition sectors. These increased allocations have far-reaching benefits, particularly for women and children. To meet the social sector aspirations in 2022 in the midst of a high debt burden and tight fiscal space, government will need to improve budget out-turns by ringfencing social sector budgets and exploring additional financing mechanisms. The CDF also provides additional options for financing and is likely to build on the investments allocated to social sectors. Finally, government should continue investing in the early years, particularly the first 1000 days of life, through multi-pronged coordinated efforts such as early learning, nutrition and health, to build a stronger base for human capital development. That way, Zambia is poised to meet not only short-term needs but also long-term national goals as espoused in the Vision 2030.