The National Security Fund is the main organisation responsible for social security in Zambia. The system includes pension scheme for employed persons, including agricultural workers, domestic servants in urban areas, and apprentices. There is a special system for public-sector and local government employees. It includes: Old-Age Pension, Early Retirement Pension, Disability Pension, Survivor Pension and a Funeral Grant.
In 2005, the government of Zambia developed a Social Protection Strategy to guide and coordinate social protection interventions targeted at the poor. It includes social assistance and social insurance programmes, and programmes to improve economic productivity. The government also has in place a National Poverty Reduction Plan that aims to reduce poverty through rural development, increased infrastructure investment, human resource development and targeted anti-poverty programmes.
The Public Welfare Assistance Scheme is an unconditional in-kind transfer programme for the most vulnerable (it benefits 45 per cent of the targeted population), and offers social assistance for meeting basic needs.
A Pilot Unconditional Cash transfer scheme in Kalomo District was supported by GTZ (the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit) and focused mostly on households headed by older people caring for orphans and vulnerable children. The payments are about ZMK30,000 (USD6) per month per household. The amount has increased to ZMK40,000 (USD8) for households with children. Targeting the most destitute, the results showed improvements in the quality of life of the household members. Since the project was a pilot funded through donor support, the strategic issues are how to sustain the project in the long term, how to expand its reach beyond geographical targeting and how to determine the value of the transfer against inflation.