In 2005, an estimated 48 million children aged 0-18 years, that is to say 12 percent of all children in sub-Saharan Africa, were orphans, and that number is expected to rise to 53 million by 2010. One quarter of all orphans are orphaned because of AIDS, and about 2.6 million children are currently infected with HIV. In response to the general awareness of the increasing number of these children, a global initiative to develop national plans of action (NPAs) for these orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs), or children affected by HIV and AIDS, has been launched. The purpose of this paper is to examine 17 NPAs for orphans and vulnerable children prepared in the hardest-hit areas in sub-Saharan Africa in order to evaluate their response to the specific needs of young children (generally defined as children under age eight), including the transition to primary school).
Bernard Van Leer Foundation
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