Caritas Australia seeks to improve water and sanitation, food security, health, education and HIV and AIDS awareness in Zimbabwe.
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.
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
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.
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.
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:
Improving access to food and water, and helping people affected by HIV/AIDS
We are improving water and sanitation conditions, increasing food security and helping people to cope with HIV/AIDS.
Colletta's inspiring story featured in Caritas Australia's Project Compassion 2012. *Sadly we share news of Colletta's death. Many in her community benefited from her dedication. May she rest in peace.
Source of Mercy in Zimbabwe
The Simangani farmers battle low rainfall, poor soils and very high temperatures. With your support they built an irrigation canal in a project which also strengthened their community. This article was a Year of Mercy feature article in Caritas News Winter 2016 edition.