AFRICA/ZIMBABWE - A program to alleviate poverty concerning orphans and vulnerable children

Monday, 3 October 2011

Harare (Agenzia Fides) - In Zimbabwe, a three-year program for the orphaned and the most vulnerable children of more than 80 000 families in the country has been launched, to try to protect them from the worst effects of poverty. The National Action Plan for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Phase II will have a three-pronged approach to reach children most at risk, with transfers of cash, support to education through the Basic Education Assistance Module (BEAM) and services for the protection of childhood. According to the National AIDS Council (NAC), 165 000 children are HIV positive, while from a joint investigation conducted by the government and UNICEF in the period 2005-2010, 48 thousand children in the country are head of the household. According to UNICEF, families headed by children or very young people, or with sick dependent relatives, will be selected for a $ 25 monthly support. In a country where most people live on less than a dollar a day, this grant will serve to meet the most urgent food and health needs. The program will start at the end of November and will cover the 10 poorest districts of the country. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 03/10/2011)