Comprehensive Care and Support for Orphans, Vulnerable Children & Youth (OVCY) in the Southern African Development Community


Strategic Framework and Programme of Action (2008 – 2015)

Poverty and under development remain daunting challenges for the SADC region. About two thirds of the population in the region live below the international poverty line of US$ per day. Poverty is exacerbated by high levels of diseases, unemployment and low industrial growth and productivity which characterise most of the Member States. Food insecurity is particularly acute in the region, largely due to natural disasters associated with climate change such as floods and recurrent drought. Human productivity has also been curtailed by labour migration and high morbidity and mortality rates among the economically productive age group largely as a result of the treble effect of HIV and AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, among other diseases and causes of death. The recent global increase in energy and food prices and the crisis in the financial markets are exacerbating the already dire situation in the region. Poverty and the high levels of morbidity and mortality among adults have resulted in an in unprecedented upsurge of orphans and other vulnerable children and youth (OVCY) in the region. Health, social and economic forecasts indicate that the situation is likely to remain serious with increasing household poverty and number of orphans in the foreseeable future. Vulnerable and poor households such as those headed by children, women, older people, people living with disabilities and HIV and AIDS and the unemployed bear the brunt of these numerous challenges, with often little or no options to cope.

The Strategic Framework and Programme of Action mark the first deliberate effort to mount a regional response to the growing challenges of OVCY in SADC. The Framework recognises the complexity of the matter and in that regard, has adopted a holistic and integrated approach to ensure comprehensive care and support among OVCY [Taken from foreword].