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Safety nets

Communities have developed a range of strategies to assist their members in surviving the impacts of HIV/AIDS, as well as other threats to their livelihoods and food security.

Most of these strategies are traditionally based and coupled with extended family support. They account for the vast majority of assistance provided to AIDS-affected households.

Social support groups, savings clubs and credit associations, self-help groups, community based organizations, income generating projects and exchange of labour are all essential in supporting rural livelihoods.

Community support through labour sharing and food sharing from communal plots are fundamental to households affected by HIV/AIDS. External support from donors, NGOs, religious organizations or other groups should be directed towards strengthening these kinds of community-based initiatives rather than replacing them.

related links
IFAD strategy paper on HIV/AIDS for East and Southern Africa
a development strategy to empower rural farmers and prevent HIV
HIV/AIDS, agriculture and food security in mainland and small island countries of Africa
social safety nets (pdf)
agrobiodiversity, food security and HIV/AIDS mitigation in sub-Saharan Africa: strategic issues for agricultural policy and programme responses
community responses to HIV/AIDS
FAO HIV/AIDS and Forestry website
more FAO publications

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