Economic empowerment and HIV vulnerability reduction along transport corridors in Southern Africa

Donor: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

Project budget: 3,962,551 USD


The outcomes of the programme are:

  • Policy makers and promoters make evidence-based decisions to mainstream the economic empowerment model into HIV and AIDS regional and national agendas;
  • Increased availability of social and economic services to prevent and mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS in selected transport corridors; and
  • Increased access to effective HIV and AIDS prevention and impact mitigation services provided by targeted operators (members organizations such as cooperatives, informal associations, MSMEs) along selected transport corridors.

Key activities

The programme builds on the ILO’s previous work on HIV and AIDS in the sub-region. This includes the programme funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) RAF/05/M08/SID (2006-2009) on HIV and AIDS Prevention and Impact Mitigation in the World of Work in Sub-Saharan Africa which was implemented in fourteen countries across Africa. However, the new programme will focus more on a regional approach, through stronger support to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in the response to HIV and AIDS by building the competency of enterprises, employers’ and workers’ organizations, informal economy associations, cooperatives and their apexes in mitigating the impact of the HIV epidemics at workplaces as well as supporting informal economy workers - especially women - to increase their economic power by improving their business skills and establishing enterprises associations, cooperatives and the like.

Some examples of potential areas to be covered are:

  • Awareness campaigns on HIV prevention for informal economy workers and their organizations (business associations, cooperatives, women’s groups);
  • Empowerment of PLHIV and commercially sexually exploited young women through farming initiatives;
  • Access to microcredit for vulnerable young women and men and their organizations;
  • Set-up of social safety nets measures for vulnerable women and men in areas highly affected by HIV and AIDS (solidarity funds, credit facilities);and
  • Empowerment of young women entrepreneurs in the informal economy through the creation of collective enterprise initiatives (cooperatives, associations).