CRS in Botswana
The CRS Botswana program is now an outreach of the Zimabawe country program and supports the Diocese of Gaborone in the South and Vicariate of Francistown in the north.
Botswana has one of Africa's highest economic growth rates but still suffers from high rates of unemployment, poverty and—at almost 24% — it has the second highest HIV rate worldwide. Botswana also has an exceedingly high number of orphans and vulnerable children.
The government has mounted an aggressive response to confront the HIV and AIDS epidemic. CRS works closely with the Catholic Church to support the government's efforts. HIV infection rates are now decreasing. Significant advances have also been made in providing antiretroviral treatment and preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission.
People Served: 26,535
Size: 224, 607 sq mi; about the size of Texas
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CRS' History in Botswana
Catholic Relief Services opened a small program office in Botswana in mid 2006 to support the government's response to the HIV and AIDS epidemic. The office was established in the northeastern city of Francistown, in a region with vast needs and lack of community services. Focusing our outreach in the north of Botswana helps us reach underserved people who traditionally have little access to the humanitarian assistance available in larger towns.