(180904) -- BEIJING, Sept. 4, 2018 (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu attends the roundtable meeting of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 4, 2018. (Xinhua/Ju Peng)(mcg)

JOHANNESBURG - Sweden is the latest country to freeze funds to Zambia over suspected misuse of the money within the country’s Social Cash Transfer programme.

Sweden through its development arm SIDA is freezing support along with Finland, Great Britain and Ireland, the Lusaka Times reported on Wednesday.

The Swedish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the country supported cash transfers to the poorest and most vulnerable in Zambia through the Social Cash Transfer programme, stating that growing evidence pointed to the efficacy of such transfers.

“The poor and vulnerable get increased possibilities to make economic decisions over, for instance, minor investments in their household or towards increased productivity in their farming, buying more nutritious food or to pay for school fees. A high proportion of the beneficiaries are women,” the statement read.

However, the Swedes first noticed problems with the funding earlier in 2018 with their suspicions confirmed in August.

The Zambian Office of the Auditor General is making an investigation into the matter and SIDA is carefully following the developments.

- African News Agency (ANA)