Caritas Australia seeks to improve water and sanitation, food security, health, education and HIV and AIDS awareness in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwean children 

Why we work in Zimbabwe

Economic and political instability in recent years has led to a rise in extreme poverty in Zimbabwe. Chronic malnutrition caused by drought and widespread food shortages, a failing health system and high rates of HIV infection mean that the average life expectancy in Zimbabwe is around 60 years. We are working on a number of programs aimed at improving the health and livelihoods of Zimbabweans.  

World Bank 


Caritas Australia has been working in Zimbabwe since 2005


Caritas supports six programs through five local partners in Zimbabwe


Sustainable livelihoods, protection, food and water security, health

Putting Children First Program: Phase IV

Image Credit: Ivy Khoury

Running since: 2016

Partner Agencies: CAFOD, Mashambanzou Care, St Albert’s Mission and Mavambo Trust

Aims: To improve the protection of the most vulnerable children and people within communities in Zimbabwe.

Who it is for: Vulnerable children, women, people with disabilities and living with HIV and AIDS, the elderly and widows.

Achievements: Through four sports gala days, the program has reached over 5,000 individuals with information on child protection issues. Community awareness sessions on gender-based violence have reached nearly 5,000 men and women. Local stakeholders have learnt to navigate the legal system and now have improved confidence in case handling. Ninety percent of participating children showed increased confidence in their own ability to report child abuse. 

Fact: The program aims to directly impact 18,000 people.

More Background

Once known as the ‘breadbasket of Africa’, Zimbabwe now struggles with hyperinflation and political instability. Extreme poverty is estimated to have risen from 29% in 2018 to 34% in 2019, an increase from 4.7 to 5.7 million people.

Drought affects millions of Zimbabweans every year, limiting food availability. Drought and reduced rainfall also affected the quality and availability of water. 

Poverty has also been worsened by the drought, exacerbated by the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, (GFC) affecting nearly eight million people in Zimbabwe. Inflation skyrocketed to around 300% in 2019.

Healthcare A lack of access to sanitation and facilities causes preventable health issues in communities. Zimbabwe has high maternal mortality and HIV and AIDS rates. Women and children living in food insecure homes are HIV prone and at risk of becoming malnourished.

World Bank
Relief Web

How we help

Caritas Australia assists communities in Zimbabwe to improve food security, increase access to water and sanitation, protect children, improve access to health and education, and to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS.



Featured project and story:

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    We are improving water and sanitation conditions, increasing food security and helping people to cope with HIV/AIDS.

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