Report predicts 20 million AIDS orphans in Africa by 2010
- By: Fiona Fleck
The number of children left as orphans because their parents have died from AIDS related diseases in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to almost double--to 20 million--over the next seven years and could account for as many as 12% of all the region's children, says a recent Unicef report.
The report, Africa's Orphaned Generations, said that the new findings signal dire consequences ahead for a region already devastated by the pandemic. It said that many affected countries still have no national policy to tackle the growing needs of AIDS orphans, and this could have grave consequences for communities and society as a whole.
Many households have become poorer owing to the pandemic, and increasing numbers of families are headed by women and grandparents and are struggling to care for these children.
“The international community must not shy away from this problem and must substantially increase support to protect AIDS orphans from