Care Africa Network

AIDS ORPHAN CRISIS

20 million AIDS orphans

Empowering communities in Africa to continue to care well for orphans and vulnerable children despite the pressures of the crisis.

THE CHALLENGE

         By 2010 it was estimated that there would be 20 million AIDS orphans, many of them in Sub Saharan Africa and this number continues to increase; many of the income generating middle generation are dead and sometimes up to one third of children are orphaned.

         The magnitude of the AIDS orphan crisis has resulted in a tragedy of bereaved and traumatised children, who may grow up alone, taking over adult roles and responsibilities whilst being flung into sudden poverty and insecurity by their parentsí deaths and struggling to survive in impoverished communities.

         To support younger siblings they may to leave home and live on the streets being forced to live by prostitution or crime.

         Generally in Africa there is a humane and cost effective community care system that ensures that the needs of all children and vulnerable adults are met within the extended family and community; this must be supported.

         The AIDS orphan crisis presents an unprecedented challenge to African community care systems resulting in a real danger that they may break down altogether with disastrous consequences for the future, both in terms of millions of destitute children and vulnerable adults and economically as progress towards all development goals is reversed.