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Climate resilience for orphans and vulnerable children in Zimbabwe

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Pact is a partner of lead implementer FACT (Family AIDS Caring Trust) in Zimbabwe under the USAID Sustaining Prevention and Increasing Access to Care and Empowerment) for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (SPACE for OVC) project. Climate resilience is one of several technical areas that Pact provides assistance to the project. To better inform climate adaptation and resilience measures that are tangible and community-led, FACT and Pact carried out a climate change vulnerability assessment (CCVA) in the provinces of Manicaland and Mashonaland in eastern and southern Zimbabwe.

During the webinar, Samson Chidiya, HIV Prevention Specialist for USAID Zimbabwe, set the scene around the climate change and OVC nexus. He mentioned how many OVC and caregivers are living with HIV, making them even more vulnerable to climate impacts, noting how the climate crisis is a child rights crisis ultimately. Kathryn Stratos, Deputy Director for Climate & Cross-Sectoral Strategy at USAID's Center for Environment, Energy & Infrastructure, then provided an update on USAID’s Climate Strategy, including implementation of the strategy. Eliana Olais, Officer for the Environment & Energy team at Pact, engaged in a conversation with Tariro Mugoni, Livelihoods Specialist at FACT, around the CCVA that engaged OVC, caregivers, elders and local communities, and interviewed headmasters, psychosocial support teachers and government authorities from various sectors. Ms. Mugoni touched on some of the observed impacts of climate change on OVC and their caregivers across different facets of their lives, and talked about their specific vulnerabilities, observed adaptive capacity and anticipated adaptation measures to increase their resilience to future climate shocks and stressors. Finally, Roger-Mark De Souza, Pact’s Vice President for Sustainable Markets, engaged the panelists in a rich discussion on the nexus of climate change and OVC before wrapping up the webinar.

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