Orphans in Malawi: Prevalence, outcomes, and targeting of services

Type Report
Title Orphans in Malawi: Prevalence, outcomes, and targeting of services
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
Publisher International Food Policy Research Institute
City Washington, D.C.
Country/State United States of America
URL http://www.ifpri.org/sites/default/files/publications/sharma2005.pdf
As in many Sub-Saharan countries, the issue of orphan-care has risen to the top of
social protection agenda in Malawi, where the prevalence of orphaned children has
dramatically increased because of early deaths of parents infected by the HIV/AIDS
virus. According to the Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (MPRSP) prepared by
the Government of Malawi in 2002, HIV infection rates in the 15-49 age group was at
around 15 percent nationally (GOM 2002). The paper reported that about 70,000 children
become orphans every year, adding to the already large number of orphans, estimated at
about 850,000.
Orphans are a vulnerable group in any socioeconomic setting simply because
they are deprived of one or both of their primary caregivers The level of vulnerability
they face, however, increases significantly with the level of poverty (Subbarao and Coury
2004). Even when one of the parents is surviving, the loss of income due to the death of
the other parent can have a serious negative impact on resources allocated to children.
This is especially so when the surviving parent is the mother, who is additionally
burdened by gender-based inequities prevalent in most societies.

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