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Crafted in coordination with seven U.S. Government departments and agencies — the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, Health and Human Services, Labor, and State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and Peace Corps— The Action Plan on Children in Adversity [PDF,2.6MB] is the first-ever whole-of-government strategic guidance on international assistance for children in adversity. Children in adversity include those affected by HIV/AIDS, in disasters, or who are orphans, trafficked, exploited for child labor, recruited as soldiers, neglected, or in other vulnerable states. This effort builds on the success of the Child Survival Call to Action, enhancing it by integrating assistance and measuring results to ensure that children ages 0-18 not only survive, but thrive.
The Action Plan is unique in that seven agencies and departments have agreed to align their different funding sources and vulnerability categories for children with three principal objectives :
- Build Strong Beginnings: Increase percentage of children surviving and reaching full developmental potential.
- Put Family Care First: Reduce percentage of children living outside of family care.
- Protect Children: Reduce percentage of girls and boys exposed to violence and exploitation.
The Action Plan includes a results-based framework that focuses on replicating effective interventions and measuring agreed upon outcomes to track progress over time. It is grounded in science that tells us that a promising future belongs to those nations that investment wisely in children. The Action Plan is helping to galvanize action globally. USAID is working with other governments, foundations, and private sector entities to address these three concerns at scale in six priority countries.
- Read the United States Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity. [PDF, 2.6MB]
- Read the Voices of Support for the Action Plan.
The official launch of the report was on December 19, 2012. There were two events to commemorate this. The first event, A Bold Initiative for Children, was hosted at the National Press Club for civil society partners and media. The latter was hosted at the White House to celebrate this achievement for the United States Government.
- Archived video stream of the Official White House Launch
- Making Room for Children in Adversity – December 20, 2012 | Shadow Government Blog post by Jean Geran
- U.S. Government Plan of Action on Children in Adversity – December 18, 2012 | Christian Alliance for Orphans Blog post by Jedd Medefind
USAID releases policy guidance for children in adversity worldwide – March 1, 2013 | Contemporary Pediatrics article by Kathryn Foxhall
180 Days from the Launch Date
Implementation plans are being developed over the next 180 days that will ground in and build out the U.S. Government’s long-standing commitment to children. This will be done by integrating strong beginnings into maternal and child health and nutrition programming; increasing our commitment to ensuring that every orphan has a home; achieving significant reductions of violence against girls and boys; and linking our gender, youth, and child initiatives together to achieve measurable results.
By the Numbers
- 200 million children under 5 (more than 30% of the world’s children) fail to reach their developmental potential in lower and middle income countries. This limits their ability to obtain future employment.
- 6.9 million children die before their 5th birthday of largely preventable causes.
- In less developed countries, only half of children under 5 have their births registered.
- As many as 8 million children may be living in institutions.
- 36% of girls and 29% of boys globally have been sexually abused.
- An estimated 300,000 children are associated with armed forces or groups.
- 70 million children are affected by natural disaster.
- 3.3 million children under 15 are living with HIV and 17.3 children under 18 have lost one or both parents to AIDs.
- 1.8 million children are victims of sex trafficking or pornography.
Last updated: December 16, 2013