By STELLA SIMUTOWE -
THE United States (US) government has provided US$48 million to assist about 260,000 orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), including people living with HIV and AIDS.
The money will also assist them with sustainable healthcare and social welfare.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID), through funding from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), will collaborate with the Government to support 225,000 orphans and 40,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in four provinces.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the US Embassy in Zambia, the US and the Zambian administrations officially launched joint Zambia Family (ZAMFAM) activities targeting OVCs and people living with HIV/AIDS in four provinces in Zambia, in which the US will provide $48 million for the project.
ZAMFAM targets orphans and vulnerable children and those living with HIV/AIDS on the Copperbelt, Lusaka, Southern and Central provinces.
According to the statement, recognising the need for action in its revised Sixth National Development Plan, the Government addressed critical issues for social protection among the people, especially those that were vulnerable in the country.
In response, USAID designed the ZAMFAM activities to strengthen families and care-givers, community-based organisations and public structures in order to enhance the quality of OVC services, while supporting the HIV epidemic control in Zambia.
USAID mission director Michael Yates said the partnership with the Government would enable support services to families and guardians and strengthen ability to care for family members and the needy.
“ZAMFAM’s approach is to identify families and care-givers that face daily challenges in caring for orphans and vulnerable children as well as people living with HIV/AIDS.
“In close partnership with the Zambian Government, we then bring support services to families and guardians, as we strengthen their ability to care for family members and those in need,” Mr Yates said.
The project will promote strong coordination, improved social welfare and health systems, including strengthened sustainable service delivery.
ZAMFAM activities are built on preceding USAID projects supporting Zambia’s vulnerable populations affected by HIV and AIDS.
Between 2015 and 2020, the US government will invest more than $48 million through the ZAMFAM Copperbelt-Lusaka, being implemented by Expanded Church Response and ZAMFAM South-Central, also being implemented by Development Aid from People-to-People Zambia.