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Nurturing the future of southern Africa: How can national governments sustainably address the impact of AIDS on children?

Nurturing the future of southern Africa: How can national governments sustainably address the impact of AIDS on children?
Apr 2010

Regional Emergency Office for Southern Africa (REOSA) Policy Brief 2, April 2010

In southern Africa, children affected by HIV and AIDS are becoming the most vulnerable members of society. By 2010, more than 18 million children will have lost one or both parents as a consequence of the HIV epidemic, while millions more children – although not orphaned – will have been plunged deeper into poverty and food insecurity as a result of HIV and AIDS.

In the context of poverty and increasing pressure on livelihoods of the poor, orphans and vulnerable children are likely to be more food insecure, more malnourished, and in generally poorer health. Research has shown that these children face a higher risk of abuse, early pregnancy and HIV infection as they grow up. The future prospects for these children are fraught with the risk of repeating and worsening the cycle of poverty.