While the Action Plan on Children in Adversity applies to U.S. Government assistance globally, it also identifies a more targeted starting point for these efforts: to achieve three core outcomes in at least six focus countries over a span of 5 years.

In these countries, through U.S. Government collaboration with other government, international, private, faith-based and academic partners, the Action Plan calls for significant reductions in the number of:

  1. Children not meeting age-appropriate growth and developmental milestones
  2. Children living outside of family care
  3. Children who experience violence or exploitation

Advances toward these core outcomes will necessarily require selection of countries in which collective assistance across vulnerability categories can be harnessed at scale. Designation will be based on consultations with Congress, U.S. departments and agencies, partner donor governments and other stakeholders. To promote country ownership and ensure meaningful engagement in the additional and intensive efforts required for transformational positive change in children’s lives, host country governments will fully be part of discussions, planning and negotiations from the outset.

The vision for focus countries is proof of concept: ensuring that U.S. Government assistance is comprehensive, coordinated and effective at the country level by focusing on the Action Plan’s three core outcomes over a span of 5 years. In essence, focus countries are "laboratories" for achieving, scaling up and sustaining greater results for children through a defined (three outcomes) and comprehensive (whole-of-government) approach. A focus on outcomes, measurement and results reporting are Action Plan and P.L. 109-95 requirements. Priority countries have not yet been officially selected. Please refer back to this page at a later date for more information.