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December 2013Vol. 14, No. 9International Assistance for Children in Adversity

The Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2005 required the Federal Government to devise a strategy for addressing the needs of children in adversity across the globe. This marked the first time the Federal Government set out to develop a comprehensive approach to assisting vulnerable children. Previous assistance efforts have been based on single cohorts or categories such as children affected by HIV/AIDS, child labor, or child trafficking. In August, the Government released the sixth annual report to Congress on these more comprehensive efforts, as well as a new website with agency-specific plans.

The website, U.S. Government International Assistance for Children in Adversity, offers data on such indicators as poverty, health, and safety; a list of Federal Government departments and agencies committed to the action plan; and the Action Plan on Children in Adversity. The action plan is rooted in three principal objectives and three supporting objectives.

Three principal objectives:

  • Build strong beginnings by supporting programs that promote sound development
  • Put family care first by supporting and enabling families to care for their children and prevent unnecessary family-child separation
  • Protect children by facilitating efforts of national governments and partners to prevent, respond to, and protect children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect

Three supporting objectives:

  • Strengthen child welfare and protection systems
  • Promote evidence-based policies and programs
  • Integrate this plan with Federal Government departments and agencies

More information is available on the U.S. Government International Assistance for Children in Adversity website:

The sixth annual report to Congress, From Strong Beginnings to Youth Resilience: Pathways Out of Adversity, describing the action plan objectives, actions, and outcomes is available here: