Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa and home to 14.4 million people. Once a rich and prosperous country, life has become increasingly difficult for families and children in recent years. Many have to struggle daily to stay safe and healthy and to get enough to eat. How can families plan when the price of basic commodities, such as wheat, can change drastically in a single day?
An estimated 7.7 million people, including 3.7 million children, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including food, shelter and protection.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Zimbabwe since 1983.
A drought, a cyclone and an economic crisis. And in addition to a diarrheal disease outbreak, there is COVID-19. These are the main reasons why 7.7 million people are in need of urgent help in Zimbabwe.
They need food, shelter, material support and access to doctors and medical treatment. Many of the patients in clinics are children. If they do not receive the support they need, they run the risk of becoming seriously ill or dying.
61% of children in Zimbabwe live in poverty. This means that children do not have a safe and warm home, cannot go to school or to the doctor when they are sick, and that they may not get the food they need to grow up healthy. Poverty forces many children into child labour. In fact, 28% of children are involved in child labour.
Although most poor children live in rural areas, poverty also exists in Zimbabwe's cities.
Young people in Zimbabwe face many challenges. This starts with access to good education: only 37% of young people attend upper secondary school. In addition, many young people find it difficult to get a job or even a way to make a living.
Young women face the additional challenges of pregnancy and marriage at a young age. In 2021, 34% of young women were married before the age of 18, and 24% had already had a child before the age of 18.