Zimbabwe is the world's second poorest country when measured in GDP per capita. Chronic malnutrition caused by widespread food shortages, a failing health system and high rates of HIV infection mean that average life expectancy in Zimbabwe is just 58 years. We are working on a number of programs aimed at improving the health and livelihoods of Zimbabweans.
Why do we work in Zimbabwe?
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has affected Zimbabwe particularly badly, with one in seven of Zimbabwe's adults living with HIV/AIDS.
In 2000, President Robert Mugabe redistributed the majority of white owned farms to untrained black Zimbabweans, causing agricultural production to plummet, unemployment to rise, hyperinflation, and shortages of food and fuel. Inflation reached staggering levels.
Over 3 million Zimbabweans have fled the economic disasters, human rights abuses, political violence and land reform, seeking refuge in surrounding countries such as South Africa. In 2005 the government demolished several shanty towns, making 700,000 people homeless.
Our work in Zimbabwe
Through our 6 local partners, Caritas Australia implemented 7 programs in Zimbabwe in 2011/2012. The programs covered a variety of issues including Water and Sanitation, Food Security, HIV/AIDS, Basic Health and Education.
Examples of our recent work
- Caritas Australia funded 150 latrines in Hwange district, 80 in Harare and 25 in Gweru. 13 boreholes and 4 wells were also rehabilitated, benefitting 3,250 people. This resulted in a reduced risk of contracting diarrhea, cholera and dysentery, and improved dignity and personal hygiene.
- The rehabilitation of the Silewu Dam in Hwange diocese has provided water for a herd of 1,256 cattle, sheep and goats. Herders were subsequently able to sell their healthier flocks for higher prices and use this extra income on school fees for their children and basic health care for their families.
- 1,320 children received nutritional, schooling and medical support in Harare diocese, Zimbabwe.
- 120 secondary caregivers of HIV/AIDS patients have been given training in modern skills to support home based care to a total of 601 patients.