United States and Zambia to Strengthen the OVC Social Welfare Workforce

Lusaka. September 17, 2014.

LUSAKA — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Zambian government joined with local stakeholders at a Road Map Workshop on September 17 to develop a plan aimed at strengthening the social welfare workforce in the delivery of services to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Two Zambian ministries – the Ministry of Community Development, Mother, and Child Health and the Ministry of Gender and Child Development – in collaboration with the USAID-funded project Zambia Rising, cooperating donors, and local stakeholders developed a road map aimed at addressing key issues to further enhance the capacity of the social welfare workforce. The workshop built upon data from the Human Resources Assessment and Gap Analysis of the Social Welfare Workforce Report, a Zambia Rising study funded by the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

“This road map is another step forward in the ongoing collaboration between the United States, Zambia, and other key stakeholders in strengthening services for orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia,” noted Ms. Ky Lam, USAID/Zambia HIV/AIDS Multi-Sectoral Team Lead. “A stronger social welfare workforce will help Zambia achieve an AIDS-free generation, and we support the Zambian government’s leadership towards this goal.”

The Honorable Minister for Community Development, Mother and Child Health, Ms. Emerine Kabanshi, opened the workshop and was joined by other advocates for the social welfare workforce, including senior government officials from ministries that have a mandate to provide services for OVC and their care givers.

Zambia Rising, implemented by Save the Children, is funded by PEPFAR through USAID. The five-year project is dedicated to supporting the Zambian government to improve the quality of OVC services through strengthened systems and a policy framework for coordination, planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Between 2010 and 2019, the United States expects to invest $166 million to enhance the quality of OVC services in Zambia. USAID plans to invest $12.5 million over the life of the Zambia Rising project in these key areas of focus: promoting coordination and harmonized planning and implementation of OVC services of key ministries; engaging the private sector in support of national OVC priorities; strengthening existing government OVC structures; bolstering social welfare human resources; and enhancing the policy and regulatory environment for OVC.