Nigeria defines an orphan as a child (0-17 years) who has lost one or both parents. A child is vulnerable if, because of the circumstances of birth or immediate environment, is prone to abuse or deprivation of basic needs, care and protection and thus disadvantaged relative to his or her peers (FMWA&SD 2008). A vulnerable child is one (that): with inadequate access to education, health and other social support, has a chronically ill parent, lives in a household with terminally or chronically ill parent(s) or caregiver(s), lives outside of family care (lives with extended family, in institution, or on street), is infected with HIV (FMWA&SD 2006).

The number of adults and children living with HIV is one of the highest in the world, at 2,800,000. Official figures estimate that there are 17.5 million OVC, including 7.3 million orphans; although practitioners in the field believe these figures could be underestimating the size and scope of the problem (Nigeria OVC Situation Analysis 2008). The

4 UNICEF/Childinfo data base estimates the number of orphans to be 9.7 million.

According to the 2008 Situation Analysis:

• There are 17.5 million OVC, including 7.3 million orphans.

• 2.39 million orphans are due to AIDS (FMOH, 2008)

• 10.7% of the 69 million children are vulnerable (UNICEF, 2007)

• 10% of children are orphaned (7% in North-west to 17% in South-East), 10% in rural, 11% in urban

• Benue state has the highest prevalence of orphans (25%), followed by Akwa Ibon (approx 22%); while Niger has the lowest (2.7%).

• 24.5% of children interviewed in households are OVC (26% in rural, 21% in urban)

• Benue state has the highest prevalence of OVC aged 6-17yrs (49%), followed by Imo (45%), and Rivers (41%); with Kwara having the lowest (9%)

According to the National Plan of Action for OVC:

• 39% of children 5-14 are engaged in child labour

• Up to 40% of children may have been trafficked

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