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Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVC) programming, including children affected by HIV and AIDS in West and Central Africa

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This working paper was designed as a programming and advocacy tool and is part of the wider process of formulation of a regional strategic framework for Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVC) programming for West and Central Africa, a region commonly labelled as a low HIV prevalence region. 

It is being discussed by the Regional Inter-agency Task Team on Children Affected by HIV AIDS in the West and Central African Region (RIATT/CABA-WCAR).

This document aims at showing that OVC issue, including children affected by HIV and AIDS is relevant even for low HIV prevalence countries and should be an opportunity for response for the most vulnerable children in West and Central Africa. 

It stresses the fact that the attention of the international community has been focused on high prevalence settings. To date, efforts to take into account the wide variety of the epidemics, as well as the socio-economic and political contexts have been quite half-hearted. This situation was characterised by a dearth of ideas and orientations at the international level to guide OVC programming in low prevalence settings.

The document also reports on efforts made in OVC programming in WCAR, at countries and regional levels. It raises some issues and provides food for thoughts on the contexts and the different key aspects of OVC programming in low prevalence countries.

Finally, the document calls on the international community to intensify their efforts in order to help countries in the region for the development of more appropriate tools for OVC programming and to ensure that programmes are sustainable and beneficial to the most vulnerable children, including those affected by HIV and AIDS.

A revised version of this document is expected on completion of the formulation of a Regional Strategic Framework on Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVC) programming for WCAR, due in the course of 2009.

For more information and feedback, please contact: Christine Naré Kaboré - UNICEF West and Central Africa Email:



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