Abobo-Gare is part of the city of Abidjan, the former capital of Côte d'Ivoire. With over three million inhabitants, it is still the largest city and the main industrial, commercial and political centre of the country.However, an estimated 20 % of the city's population lives in informal settlements, which means that many people face a lack of basic services, including access to clean drinking water, sanitation, electricity and health care.
Since 1971, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Abobo-Gare.
HIV infection rates in the country are highest in the southern region, close to Abidjan. Latest numbers show that 21,000 children were reported to have been infected with the virus across the country – but only 49% children had access to antiretroviral therapy that suppresses the virus in the body and helps reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Families who are affected by HIV/AIDS often cannot access treatment due to the high cost and long journeys to reach a medical centre. If they are ill and unable to work, they are increasingly at-risk of falling into abject poverty, and unable to ensure a nutritious diet for themselves and their children.
Many people in cities like Abidjan still do not have safe access to clean drinking water. The lack of access to water and sanitation mostly affects people living in extreme poverty who are economically marginalized.
Improving access to clean water and sanitation in these settings is important, as it puts children particularly at risk of childhood diseases and malnutrition. Both these things can affect their overall development, learning and, later in life, economic opportunities.