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Orphans & Vulnerable Children
Zimbabwe like any other Sub-Saharan African country is faced with the devastating effects of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. While the HIV prevalence rate has been on a downward trend, reaching 14.3 percent in 2009 from 20.1 percent in 2005, the burden and net effects of HIV and AIDS and poverty have continued to have devastating effects on children and the families housing those children.
The government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) as a signatory to various regional and international declarations on the rights and protection of children has implemented various social protection policies, legislative instruments and programmes to ensure the fulfilment of all childrenâ€™s rights. One such programme which was approved by Cabinet in 2004 and implemented from 2005 to 2010 is the National Action Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (NAP for OVC) programme. The NAP for OVC programme is designed to enter the second phase (2011 â€“ 2015) of programming in line with the Zimbabwe National Strategic Plan on HIV and AIDS (ZNASP) which is the countryâ€™s overall guiding strategic plan for the national response to HIV and AIDS. The NAP programme takes into consideration governmentâ€™s development thrust in line with the objectives of the Short Term Economic Recovery Plan (STERP) as long term social protection strategies are being developed.
While the country has an estimated 1.6 million children made vulnerable by the HIV and AIDS epidemic, only 5000 (0.3 percent) of them are living in institutions with the rest being cared for by their families and communities. Zimbabweâ€™s legislation recognizes the central function played by families in supporting child growth and development. What is urgently needed is to rebuild families economically and socially so that they can again perform their central role. The family-centred, community-based approach needs to be strengthened in order to provide comprehensive care and support for orphans and vulnerable children. In most situations, the children are living in inter-generation gap households where the care givers are also people in need of care due to old age.
The Government of Zimbabwe has endorsed the urgent need for coordinated, expanded interventions to strengthen existing work being undertaken by government ministries, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community-based organisations (CBOs), faith-based organisations (FBOs) and United Nations (UN) agencies.
For more in information on HIV and AIDS OVC programme view or download the documents below.