This paper analyzes the free care and support that households receive for a chronically ill person from sources outside of family, friends, and neighbors. The analysis is based on data from the 2005 Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey and the 2005 Côte d’Ivoire AIDS Indicator Survey. While household members and traditional community safety nets have provided much of the care and support for the chronically ill, government and non-government sources also can play important roles, especially in response to the AIDS epidemic. Governments in both Côte d’Ivoire and Rwanda, however, face challenges in providing care and support services to the chronically ill. The majority of sick people in the two countries do not receive any care and support from sources outside the household. Among those receiving external support, companionship/emotional/spiritual care is far more common than medical, material, or social support. Findings suggest the need for care and support programs particularly in the South and East of Rwanda, and the Centre and North of Côte d’Ivoire.