Lusaka. August 22, 2014.
LUSAKA – On August 22, the United States and Zambian governments attended the joint commencement of three Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) support activities. The activities work to strengthen the abilities of individuals, organizations, and systems to provide OVC services for the most vulnerable children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS in Zambia.
The three activities – called Zambia Rising, Community Rising, and Data Rising – are implemented by Save the Children, the Luapula Foundation, and Expanded Church Response, respectively, and are funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). These implementing partners coordinate closely with the Ministries of Community Development, Mother and Child Health; Gender and Child Development; and Youth and Sport to ensure the activities have an enriching and sustainable impact on the recipients most in need of the services.
“Over 600,000 children in Zambia have been orphaned by AIDS, and 150,000 are infected with the HIV virus. Providing care and support for these children is one of the biggest challenges Zambia faces today,” noted Acting Mission Director Patrick Diskin. “In partnership with the Zambian government, the United States is committed to help meet this challenge through our support to the Zambia Rising, Community Rising, and Data Rising activities.”
Zambia Rising works with the Zambian government at the national level to strengthen OVC social welfare systems and policies. Community Rising improves the efficiency of OVC service delivery at the district level through enhanced community capacity and linkages to local structures. Data Rising supports an effective national OVC management information system with the Zambian government.
Between 2010 and 2019, the United States expects to invest $166 million to enhance the quality of OVC services in Zambia through the three Rising activities, the Sustainability Through Economic Strengthening, Prevention, and Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children, Youth, and Other Vulnerable Populations (STEPS OVC) activity, and the upcoming Zambia Family (ZAMFAM) activity.