An estimated 23% of all deaths in Namibia are AIDS-related, and the impact of this pervasive epidemic is cross-sectoral and intergenerational. The HIV epidemic in Namibia is considered generalized, with an estimated 180,000 HIV-infected adults and children; at 13.5%, the estimated adult prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS ranks Namibia with the seventh highest rate in the world. In 2009, approximately 250,000 children (aged 18 years or younger) were considered orphans or vulnerable children (OVC), and about 28% of these children had been orphaned by AIDS. Approximately, 40% of the new infections in 2010 are estimated to be among young people ages 15-24, and women are disproportionately affected with 60% of these new infections occurring in females. Although national rates of HIV incidence have begun to decline, HIV prevalence in Namibia has stabilized at a high level and continues to burden the health care system and to pose serious developmental challenges.

Household access to food and adequate nutrition is still a challenge for 12-14% of the population, and food insecurity is more prevalent in the northwestern regions mainly due to chronic poverty and droughts. HIV and AIDS compounds this problem, as people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV) cope with diminished productivity and earning power. Additionally, PLHIV, young people and other vulnerable and key populations continue to face stigma and discrimination in their communities, workplace and when accessing public services. Namibia is classified as upper-middle income, yet 49% of Namibians live on less than USD $2 per day and the adult unemployment rate exceeds 50%. This represents the world’s most extreme income disparity, and Namibia faces a unique challenge as the donors are actively withdrawing significant amounts of HIV funding support.

Read more about the project’s activities in Namibia on our resource page.