Southern Africa remains the region of the world most severely affected by HIV/AIDS. The burden of the epidemic in the region is staggering. USAID collaborates with regional and international organizations, such as UNAIDS, the South African Development Community, the international donor community, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and other U.S. government agencies to provide quality treatment and prevention, strengthen health systems, and provide relief and assistance to orphans and vulnerable children. Through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) funds, USAID works with local and international partners, partner governments, and civil society to deliver and distribute vaccines; protect and train health workers; provide support for risk communication and community engagement; support infection prevention and control; strengthen diagnostic and surveillance systems.  


USAID is fostering intra-regional trade, developing the agricultural sector, and boosting private and public investment in the region. An increase in agricultural productivity, coupled with expanding intra-regional trade, will lead to sustained economic growth in SADC member states and will ultimately result in improved food and nutrition security and poverty reduction. USAID supports initiatives that address common constraints to trade and improve the investment environment to support trade competitiveness. 


In Southern Africa, multi-party democracy is the most popular form of governance. However, democratic values and practices remain shallowly rooted, and progress toward democratic consolidation is slow, even regressing in some countries. We strengthen the legitimacy and capacity of key governmental institutions, civil society groups, political parties, justices, and regional organizations like the Southern Africa Development Community to promote democratic values and practices. Our support facilitates the rule of law and the protection of individual civil, political, economic, and social rights; transparent and credible elections; and public financial management and accountability.


Our programs promote sustainable economic growth by integrating environmental changes into policy and decision making and by ensuring sound management of transboundary natural resources. Our work supports various congressional and executive priorities to protect biodiversity and combat wildlife crime, advance water supply and sanitation services, promote strategic investments and partnerships, and foster collaborative, transboundary cooperation to reduce drivers of insecurity.

Our work