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Click for a detailed map (PDF)

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Food security remains a major issue for the people of Namibia; in recent years, up to a third of the population has needed humanitarian food assistance. About 35 per cent of Namibia’s population lives on less than $1 a day.

Issues facing children Namibia

  • About 120,000 children under age 17 have lost one or both parents; about 57,000 of these children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
  • Stunting, which is related to undernutrition, affects about a quarter of all children.
  • Young people face high unemployment, at around 40 per cent, or double the national average.
  • The poorest parts of the country are most vulnerable to malaria and chronic drought and have the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection.
  • Flooding in the Caprivi region in 2004 forced the relocation of 1,500 people, and destroyed crops and livestock for 20,000 people. AIDS has been the driving factor in recent increases in the maternal mortality rate.
  • Physical and sexual violence against women and children is a serious concern; many victims never seek help. Much of the violence is fuelled by alcohol abuse.
  • Bureaucracy and a lack of awareness are barriers that prevent many Namibians from accessing social services to which they are entitled.

Activities and results for children

  • Prevention efforts by UNICEF and its partners are beginning to pay off in the form of lower HIV prevalence rates, especially among teenagers.
  • UNICEF has played a major advocacy role in implementing strategies to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS in 27 hospitals.
  • The ‘Windows of Hope’ after-school programme is teaching 10- to 14-year-olds about HIV/AIDS prevention before they become sexually active. A separate programme called ‘My Future Is My Choice’ has provided life-skills training to 27,000 adolescents ages 15–19.
  • Teen pregnancy rates declined from 22 per cent in 1990 to 18 per cent in 2000.
  • Infant and under-five mortality rates have both dropped significantly in the past decade.
  • To combat malaria, insecticide-treated bed nets have been distributed to 23,000 pregnant women and children under age 5.
  • The government recently passed several key pieces of legislation to protect women and children, including the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, and a National Policy on Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children. UNICEF has provided extensive training for police and social workers on how to deal with child abuse.
  • Primary-school enrolment has risen to about 76 per cent for boys and 81 per cent for girls.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012


U5MR by sex 2012, male


U5MR by sex 2012, female


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012


Neonatal mortality rate 2012


Total population (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012


GNI per capita (US$) 2012


Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012


Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*


Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*


Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

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