In November 2003, USAID, UNICEF, UNAIDS, and the World Food Program (WFP) launched the massive orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) Rapid Country Assessment, Analysis, and Action Planning (RAAAP) Initiative in partnership with in-country donor offices, national OVC steering committees, and the POLICY Project to assess current levels of support and care for children who have been orphaned or made vulnerable by AIDS in 17 sub-Saharan countries. These countries are Botswana, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Twelve of these countries are slated to receive funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
The RAAAP Initiative on behalf of Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Sub-Saharan Africa was an unprecedented effort to identify and analyze the range of services being provided to an estimated 10.6 million children (up to age 17) orphaned by AIDS in the aforementioned 17 countries. The countries were selected had large numbers of OVC. In 11 of these countries, more than 15 percent of all children under the age of 17 were orphans in 2003. The estimated total number of orphans in the 17 countries was 26.7 million in 2003 (Children on the Brink, 2004).