Grace poses with her family as they smile for the camera.

Advancing Protection and Care for Children in Adversity

U.S. Government Strategy for International Assistance, 2019-2023

The Strategy builds on three evidence-based objectives that inform the U.S. Government’s policies and programs to benefit the world’s most-vulnerable children. They are interrelated, interdependent, and mutually reinforcing. Success with each creates a multiplier effect by contributing to a solid foundation to protect children and adolescents from a wide array of risks and supporting their development, care, and safety.

Download the Strategy [PDF, 14MB], or view it online below:


U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity

A Framework for International Assistance, 2012-2017

The Action Plan on Children in Adversity is the first-ever whole-of-government strategic guidance for U.S. Government international assistance for children.

Action Plan CoverThe goal of the U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity is to achieve a world in which all children grow up within protective family care and free from deprivation, exploitation, and danger. 

The plan is grounded in evidence that shows a promising future belongs to those nations that invest wisely in their children, while failure to do so undermines social and economic progress.  Child development is a cornerstone for all development, and it is central to U. S. development and diplomatic efforts. The plan seeks to integrate internationally recognized, evidence-based good practices into all of its international assistance initiatives for the best interests of the child. 

The Action Plan has three principal objectives and three supporting objectives to promote greater U.S. Government coherence and accountability for whole-of-government assistance to vulnerable children.


Public Law 109-95

Efforts to assist vulnerable girls and boys in low- and middle-income countries have traditionally focused on single vulnerability cohorts and categories – for example, children affected by HIV and AIDS, in emergencies or in the worst forms of child labor, including those who have been trafficked. Although such efforts have produced substantial benefits, this diffused approach can result in a fragmented response. Coordinated, multifaceted action helps to better assist children in adversity.

Public Law 109-95: Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2005 (PL 109-95) [PDF, 2.0MB] calls for a comprehensive, coordinated, and effective response on the part of the U.S. Government to the urgent needs of the world’s most vulnerable children.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead agency under PL 109-95.

Photo credit: Valerie Caldas, USAID Suaahara project