South Africa and the astonishing orphan numbers…..

Note  the release of a new report on AIDS orphans in South Africa–at nearly one and a half  million, they represent half of all that country’s orphaned population…..

In 2007, there were 1.4 million AIDS orphans living in South Africa, representing nearly half of all orphans. Given that these children are extraordinarily vulnerable [to] extreme poverty and hunger with no parents or community to care for them (for often they are stigmatized with the HIV-positive status of their deceased parents), South Africa is unlikely to solve the challenges of child mortality without systematically addressing the orphan crisis. This holds true for southern African countries facing similar problems, such as Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana and Zimbabwe.

Despite so much political and constitutional progress in South Africa, it is more than disheartening to see how bleak the picture remains for child health and welfare generally….South Africa is often mentioned as a country with a possible commitment to opening up to international options for these children–so far, one hears little of a concrete nature…..It is so difficult to understand what it means to say that it is time to “deal with” the problem–so vague–It is always galling to see how little interest there is at the top levels of international diplomacy in the human rights and immediate needs of children living essentially on their own….


2 thoughts on “South Africa and the astonishing orphan numbers…..

  1. As it is estimated that an additional 500 children a day are made vulnerable or orphaned in South Africa alone, it is likely that the figure of 1.4 million orphans as at the end of 2007 is a great deal higher and will certainly continue to grow at ever more alarming rates.

    It is good that posts like yours highlight this terrible situation and what appears to be a lack of international will to tackle it. It is not going away or getting less as Richard Stearns President of World Vision said:

    ” I believe that this could very well be looked back upon as the sin of our generation… and our children 40 or 50 years from now are going to say “what did you do while 40 million children became orphans in Africa?”

    Sandy co-founder (

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