The number of orphans due to AIDS alone in Tanzania, in latest figures is 970,000. According to the NY Times in an article published June 24, 2009, more than 500,000 women each year die in child birth in Tanzania, leaving behind the same amount of newly orphaned children, year in and year out. The World Health Organization figures the maternal death rate in Tanzania at 950 per 100,000 compared to the lowest rates at 1 per 100,000 in other areas of the world. Estimated total number of orphans in Tanzania for 2008 was 2.6 million. The United States Government supported programs in Tanzania for fiscal year 2009, having supported only 370,954 orphans and vulnerable children. Howbeit, a total of nine of those orphan and vulnerable children delivery programs serving 75% of these 370,954 orphans will terminate on or before the end of fiscal year 2011. That will put 268,000 orphans and vulnerable children back without food, shelter, clothing, medical care or love, before the end of this year.
As of February 2010, there were only 52 orphanages in Tanzania, caring for less than 3,000 orphans, with 17 of those scheduled to close by the end of 2011. That is less than one tenth of one percent of the published total orphans throughout Tanzania being provided shelter, food and clothing. The US Government and the Government of Tanzania are acutely in agreement that a country of 34 million people, 90% of whom live in abject poverty with 48% below the poverty level; a country whose national average annual income is $400US, cannot possibly provide sustained institutional care facilities for 3 million orphans. Without exception, every charitable agency even slightly attempting to help agree, that long term care of orphans and vulnerable children must rest with the local communities. However, absent is a strategic plan to create long term, sustainable community based support within an impoverished economy, realizing that without such a plan, orphan care is destined to fail. Years of experience working with orphans and vulnerable children within Africa continuously highlights the obvious conclusion of even the best of efforts and programs, that without assistance in creating a community based, self sustainable orphan project, the creation of which is solely and uniquely structured to be the sole provider of Orphan and Vulnerable Children funding in that local area, even the greatest and most sincere aid programs will fail when the outside funding is stopped.