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U.S. Government action plan promises brighter futures for vulnerable children

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Holly Frew
World Vision Media Relations Manager

Washington, DC (December 19, 2012) — Today members of the NGO coalition Children in Adversity Policy Partnership (CAPP) announced its support for the United States government’s newly-released five-year Action Plan for Children in Adversity. The Action Plan provides a blueprint for the appropriate U.S. government agencies to deliver coordinated and effective assistance to children who are vulnerable to violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect.

“To date, the U.S. Government’s assistance for children in adversity has been fragmented and largely uncoordinated, with no agreed upon strategy, identification or monitoring mechanisms,” said Terry Baugh, President of Kidsave. “Past approaches have not only left millions of children without the protection and support of a family, but have also left the U.S. Government without any kind of yardstick by which to measure their success in meeting these needs worldwide.”

"With this Action Plan, President Obama and the Administration recognize that investing in the well-being of children is a wise investment for the United States and its partner countries in stability, economic prosperity, and the promise of a generation stronger than the one before it,“ said Kent Hill, senior vice-president of international programs for World Vision. “This collaborative strategy will help those of us who work with children and their families around the world and, using this comprehensive approach, we can all work to ensure that governments, communities and those who partner with them take the necessary steps to secure a better world for children."

Within five years, the Plan calls for U.S. Government-funded programs to achieve significant reductions in the number of children not meeting age-appropriate growth and developmental milestones; children living outside of family care; and children who experience violence or exploitation. To achieve these goals, U.S. Government Special Adviser for Public Law 109-95 and Senior Coordinator to the USAID Administrator on Children in Adversity, Neil Boothby, will work with interagency partners to ensure that all activities under the plan are not only implemented by the appropriate departments and agencies, but also integrated into relevant US Government foreign policy initiatives.

“A threat to a child anywhere is a threat to our future everywhere.” said Anne Goddard, CEO of ChildFund International, “Whether a newborn child in a family displaced in Afghanistan, a school-aged girl from northern Uganda who survived the horrors of being a child soldier and sex slave or an adolescent boy in Honduras desperate for a way out of domestic violence—effectively protecting children starts in families, includes communities and continues with all levels of government working together to protect all children from harm.”

“The importance of family has been a valued principle of American society since its founding. The Action Plan at long last moves this value into the US government’s foreign assistance programs for children,” said Tom DiFilipo, President of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services. “Perhaps most in need of the Action Plan’s focus on family care are the millions of children living in orphanages and other institutions. Moving them from depravation into a safe permanent family care cannot happen soon enough.”

“We know that strong families are the building blocks of strong communities and strong communities are the building blocks of strong nations,” said Kathleen Strottman, Executive Director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. “The Plan not only recognizes the vital role families play in the development of children but ensures that US funding and programs serve children in and through their families. This is a major step forward and holds promise not only for the futures of children, but the future of nations.”

In addition to applauding the plan, members of the CAPP steering committee pledged to work together to monitor the efforts of participating U.S. Government departments and agencies to ensure the creation of effective implementation plans within the required 180 days. "President Obama and the 113th Congress have an unprecedented and historic opportunity to lead a global initiative to ensure that all children survive, thrive, and strive into the 21st century.” said Paul Zeitz, Vice President of Policy, Arms Around the Child USA. “By ensuring that the U.S. government sets bold targets, restructures for success, contributes its fair share of resources, and mobilizes stakeholders to join forces, President Obama can create a new future for children in adversity around the world.”

"Save the Children welcomes the launch of the Action Plan on Children in Adversity as a means to address the needs of the world's poorest and most vulnerable children,” said Greg Ramm, Associate Vice-President for child protection and HIV & AIDS at Save the Children US. “We look forward to continued and renewed partnership with other organizations in the U.S. and around the world that focus on children’s needs so that this action plan will make a real difference in their lives.”

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About the "Children in Adversity" Policy Partnership (CAPP)
CAPP is a coalition of U.S.-based implementing and advocacy organizations, individuals, and experts dedicated to accelerating bold and strategic U.S. policy action concerning children in advertsity. The coalition seeks to ensure that U.S. Government investments are strategically planned and implemented so that children in adversity worldwide have access to programs and services that enable them to grow and thrive.

About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews