The United Republic of Tanzania is a country situated in Eastern Africa within the Great Lakes Region. Tanzania has a total population of 56 million people and its capital city is Dodoma. Tourism has come to play an increasingly vital role in Tanzania’s economy. However, it is still mainly based on the agricultural sector where more than 80% of the work force is employed.
While the country has experienced some economic growth in recent decades, many people still live in poverty, especially in its rural areas. Families struggle, as they often lack food or access to basic infrastructure. Furthermore, the HIV/AIDS pandemic remains a major public health challenge in the country.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Tanzania since 2000.
Tanzania remains marked by widespread poverty. Over 28% of the country’s population are living in poverty and millions find themselves caught on the bottom steps of the socio-economic ladder. Only a small minority has been able to benefit from the country’s recent upswing. Growth has been neither broad-based nor great enough to effectively tackle high poverty levels in Tanzania. Particularly in rural areas, poverty is widespread and acute. Many families here do not have access to basic infrastructure, and 1 in 3 children are undernourished.
Education is the key to an independent life. The enrolment rate in Tanzania has improved in recent years and about 4 out of 5 children complete primary school. Nevertheless, government funding for primary and secondary education is relatively low compared to many other countries in the region. Furthermore, the dropout rate is high due to financial constraints in families. Many children have to work alongside school to contribute to the household income.
Tanzania is characterised by a comparatively high HIV prevalence rate. As in many other parts of Africa, many people - about 1.7 million - live with the disease. The HIV/AIDS epidemic significantly hinders the country's socio-economic development and also affects the food security of thousands of families. When the breadwinner of a family falls ill, other family members - often children - have to work to support the family.