The Republic of Namibia is a large and sparsely populated country in Southern Africa. The total population of Namibia is approximately 2.75 million and its capital city is Windhoek.
Namibia is a relatively stable, middle-income country with an economy that is driven by agriculture, mining and tourism. However, the growing economy has not benefitted everyone equally. Namibia is one of the driest countries in the south of Africa, which often leads to food scarcity and malnourishment among its population.
Furthermore, the HIV/AIDS epidemic presents a challenge for many Namibian families.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Namibia since 1984.
Namibia is among the driest countries in the south of Africa. Frequent droughts across the country mean that crops often fail and livestock dies. As a result, food can be scarce, which is especially the case in Namibia’s rural areas. Malnourishment remains a persistent problem in the country, particularly among children. In fact, 23% of children do not get enough nutritious food, which has severe effects on their physical and intellectual development.
Namibia is a middle-income country with a growing economy. However, unemployment is high and poverty persists, with almost 3 in 10 Namibians considered to be living in poverty. Female-headed households account for almost half of the total number of households in the country, as male life expectancy tends to be low. The income situation in these families is often precarious and in fact they make up the highest proportion of poor households in the country.
Namibia is marked by a very high number of HIV/AIDS infections. Approximately 210,000 people in the country live with the disease and many families are severely affected. Of the thousands of children without parental care, the majority have lost their parents due to HIV/AIDS and lack a caring family environment. In many cases, their most basic needs are not met and they are vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation and forced labour. In other cases, children have to take care of their younger siblings. Hence, they often cannot go to school.