Protection of Orphans and Vulnerable children in Zimbabwe

The project aims at consolidating social protection in Zimbabwe in order to reduce widespread household poverty, provide basic needs, care and support to the most vulnerable children, especially those affected and infected by HIV/AIDS. In the context of continued political instability and economic collapse in Zimbabwe, SDC will continue to engage through the multi-donor trust fund “Child Protection Fund” managed by UNICEF.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Employment & economic development
Social protection
Primary health care
Mental health & well-being
Sexually transmitted diseases incl. HIV/AIDS
01.07.2016 - 31.12.2022
CHF  9’825’000

The unstable political and economic environment in Zimbabwe continues to increase widespread poverty and inequality. With the country’s social protection architecture having disintegrated, children affected by HIV/AIDS remain particularly vulnerable suffering from severe deprivation resulting in high risks of abuse, drop out of school and lack of access to basic services. The persisting drought since 2014/15 is aggravating the overall critical situation for the most vulnerable children. In, 2012 Zimbabwe recorded 1.2 million orphans of which 890,000 suffered HIV-related deaths of one or both of their parents.


To ensure that by 2020, children in Zimbabwe live in a safer and more conducive environment that ensures their care and protection and supports their sound growth and development.

Target groups

The poorest and most vulnerable households with children. In particular, the labour-constrained, female headed and food-poor households with children under the age of 16 often affected by HIV/AIDS.

Medium-term outcomes

Children, families and communities access improved child protection services reinforced by social protection and community economic resilience in selected districts.


Expected results:  

Outputs will lead to:

  1. Availability of age and gender appropriate child protection services for 164,000 vulnerable children affected by different forms of abuse and violence in targeted districts.
  2. Improved knowledge and skills for child protection among 240 communities and 50,000 families in selected districts.
  3. Improved evidence based policies, manuals and guidelines implemented to promote child protection and prevent child marriages.
  4. Improved economic capacity to protect 65,000 vulnerable children in 23,500 ultra-poor and labour constrained households largely affected by HIV and AIDS among HSCT beneficiary households in selected districts.

Results from previous phases:  

The first phase of the Child Protection Fund (2012-2016) achieved significant results:

  1. Regular and reliable bi-monthly cash payments under the Harmonised Social Cash Transfer (HSCT) programme were made to over 52,000 food poor and labour-constrained households in 19 districts (250’000 persons). 83 percent of these households had children. Comparing treatment and control groups showed that 12 months into the programme, early marriage was lower by 6%, school dropouts reduced by 7% and under-age sex was down by 11%.
  2. The National Case Management System (NCMS) was designed and rolled out. The NCMS is a newly developed, standardized, coordinated and harmonized approach to delivering child protection services across the country. Child protection and welfare services were provided to 50,000 children in 37 districts.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • Foreign private sector South/East
  • United Nations Children’s Fund

Other partners

The Government of Zimbabwe; UNICEF, Sweden, EU and the United Kingdom.

Coordination with other projects and actors

The CPF/UNICEF promotes synergies with the Rural WASH Fund; the Ministry of Health and Child Care; the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare; other Ministries.
In addition, SDC will further link up with UNFPA, REPSSI, MIET and SACI.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    9’825’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    9’813’796
Project phases Phase 2 01.07.2016 - 31.12.2022   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.12.2012 - 30.06.2016   (Completed)