About Zambia
Discover this country's culture, history, and more

Communities in this country:


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.

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  • Population
  • Land mass
    290,587 sq. mi.
  • Life Expectancy
    57 years
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate
  • Literacy Rate
  • School Enrollment
  • Access to Safe Water
  • Average Annual Income (GNI)

US Comparison to Zambia

Zambia United States
Land Mass
3,794,083 sq miles
Life Expectancy
57 years
78 years
Infant Mortality
Literacy Rate
School Enrollment
Access to Safe Water
Average Annual Income
Statistics from UNICEF & World Factbook

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

Child Sponsorship

Through sponsorship, World Vision is partnering with families and communities to help meet immediate needs and promote lasting changes that will strengthen communities and move families toward self-reliance.

Each year sponsors receive updates about their sponsored child and their community. Sponsors also learn about the child's continuing activities and new accomplishments so when they correspond with their child, they can encourage them in their education, hobbies and endeavors.

The commitment of World Vision sponsors helps provide children with love, hope, and opportunities for a healthy, productive future. May God bless sponsors as they make a lasting difference in the life of a special child.

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.

New savings groups that introduced over 2,000 people to financial literacy.

Community News

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

Christian Commitment

  • 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.

Economic Development

  • 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.

Food and Agriculture

  • 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.


  • The STEPS OVC consortium aims to provide support for HIV prevention and reduction of HIV transmission through community caregivers; 94,595 caregivers have been trained, and 797,648 people have been provided with general HIV prevention education.
  • 363,647 people have been provided with education primarily focused on abstinence and/or faithfulness.
  • 595,201 have been tested for HIV and provided with results.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene

  • To increase community access to clean water, we worked with local partners and governments to build new borehole wells and rejuvenate non-functioning old ones.
  • We worked with community members to improve sanitation by constructing improved household and public latrines and installing handwashing facilities. We also provided trainings in proper hygiene and sanitation practices.


  • 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.

Emergency Response

  • 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.

Child Rights

  • 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.

If you have any questions or need help with your My World Vision account, please call: 1-800-678-2168