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People and Society, Social Issues and Social Services

youth unemployment, causes of AIDS, pensions, social services, spread of AIDS

Zimbabwe’s white population still lives very much aloof from the African majority, and there is relatively little social mixing. The government has promised since independence to redistribute white farmland to landless African peasants but has yet to do so. The issue of land reform therefore is a source of tension between the races. Zimbabwe’s biggest social problems are youth unemployment and the spread of AIDS, which became an epidemic in the 1990s. In 1999 it was estimated that 1.5 million people in Zimbabwe, or 25 percent of people over the age of 15, were infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. The growing number of people who contract AIDS causes increased costs to medical and social services as well as to education and training programs. In response to the epidemic, the government launched a campaign to educate people about the causes of AIDS and to encourage them to take steps to prevent its spread. Fees are charged for health care, which absorbs 5 percent of government expenditure. A national social security program, including pensions, was introduced in 1994.

Article key phrases:

youth unemployment, causes of AIDS, pensions, social services, spread of AIDS, epidemic, races, independence, HIV, campaign, training programs, human immunodeficiency virus, Fees, steps, health care, education, percent of people, age, response


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