Supporting the Most Vulnerable Children in Tanzania is a challenge as most of the interventions are not sustainable for instance education support is mainly scholastic materials not promoting vocational training skills. It has also been noted that normally widows are given grants to establish income generating activities through grants. The challenge is on how to develop their entrepreneurship skills to run sustain income generating activities. We need to empower the communities to take care of the marginalized groups by supporting the safety nets that promote reliable social protection.
Tanzania Commission for AIDS has developed a National Multisectoral Framework guiding the national response on HIV and AIDS under the four thematic areas. The Impact Mitigation thematic area has targeted to improve the quality of life of PLHIV and those affected by HIV and AIDS at all level.
By December 2006 it was estimated that there were some 2.2 million Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Tanzania, of which half (1.1 million) are estimated as most vulnerable children (MVC).
The exact impact of the AIDS epidemic in the country is unknown and difficult to establish, as studies linking HIV and AIDS with the country human capital development process are lacking. Moreover, the available reports from different sources, which estimate that without AIDS the annual number of deaths in 2015 would be 40 percent less.
Majority of the AIDS deaths is expected to fall on the 15-49 years age group, the most sexually active and in the prime of their productive years (43 percent). The annual AIDS deaths are also increasing from about 99,000 deaths in 2000 to about 175,000 deaths in 2015. However these projections may have to be revised in the light of the ART roll-out programme which will have a major impact on deaths related to AIDS in the coming years. Other studies report that in Tanzania, there is a loss of 8 years in life expectancy.
Many households, extended families, neighborhoods, communities, and public and private sector institutions have been severely affected by HIV and AIDS.
Among other effects, this is reflected in the rising numbers of orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC), worsening caregiver burdens, the inability of households with infected members to cope effectively with their many challenges, and increased costs associated with responding to the epidemic. It is currently estimated that there are some 2.2 million OVC in Tanzania, of which half (1.1 million) are estimated as most vulnerable children (MVC). The epidemic has undermined social capital, weakened social networks, and divided neighborhoods and communities in unforeseen ways.
Most Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have conducted a situation and impact analysis of the effects of HIV on their sectors and have developed appropriate sector strategies which are used to develop interventions to counter the negative effects of the epidemic on their workforce (internal mainstreaming) and target-group (external mainstreaming).
Equally, the Regional Secretariats have been supported in implementing workplace interventions that are geared to support workers and their families who are affected by the epidemic.
Lessons learnt from mainstreaming efforts by the public and private sectors show lack of comprehensiveness and sustainability due to lack of leadership and commitment, inadequate technical skills to execute the programmes, and limited human and financial resources to sustain the interventions hence making them dependent on tacaid for financial support.
TACAIDS has facilitated to the establishment of National Council for People Living with HIV and AIDS (NAOPHA) which coordinates all Networks of PLHIV countrywide. These networks are highly active in implementing a variety of interventions to reduce the impact of HIV through advocacy to reduce stigma and discrimination, income generating activities and home-based care. Local governments and the voluntary sector (CSOs and FBOs) received support from the Community AIDS Response Fund (CARF) through the Regional Facilitating Agencies (RFAs) to build their response capacities and to provide direct support to targeted HIV and AIDS affected and infected people in communities. The voluntary sector also continued to receive support from the Rapaid
Funding Envelope (RFE) through the Deloitte & Touche (grants manager). The local government through the community development departments also avails funding to income generating activities (IGA) as part of mitigating impact of HIV and AIDS.
With the progression of the epidemic still there are many indication that communities, families and individuals hardest hit by the HIV and AIDS face enormous difficulties to ensure their survival and sustainability of these interventions.
The government has through the PMORALG established an HIV response structure through its Decentralization by Devolution policy covering the entire country with multi-sectoral committees on HIV at district, ward and village levels.
This initiative was based on the understanding that the fight against AIDS has to be organized and coordinated by appropriate structures which are close to the communities and which can respond to the specific threats and opportunities.
In order to enhance the involvement of the communities through Civil Society Organizations, eleven Regional Facilitating Agencies (RFAs) were established, each covering two regions to provide technical and financial support to community based initiatives.
RFA are also charged with the responsibilities of building capacity of Regional Secretariat and LGA in comprehensive HIV and AIDS planning and Monitoring and Evaluation.
Tanzania Commission for AIDS has been has been supporting interventions geared to impact mitigations through Civil Society Organizations. In 2007 funds amounting to Tshs. 1,176,840,354 were disbursed to 16 districts through Regional Facilitating Agencies.
Notable efforts have been taken by Government and the public in general to appreciate the magnitude of the Orphans and vulnerable children as problem and acknowledge the fact that it is no longer a problem that can be dealt with at family level or their neighbors alone. National Most Vulnerable Children Plan of Action was finalized in 2007 covering four year (2007 to 2010). Both public and private sector stakeholders received funding from the Global Fund and PEPFAR to provide care, support and protection of MVC.