PEPFAR and The U.S. Government Action Plan for Children in Adversity

May 20, 2013


PEPFAR contributes 10% of all program funds to efforts that serve children in adversity in contexts affected by HIV.

  • PEPFAR Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) programs have served nearly 5 million children to date and counting.
  • The U.S. government recently released an Action Plan for Children in Adversity (APCA) to help coordinate assistance to vulnerable children across different agencies.
  • PEPFAR also recently released new OVC Programming guidance, which guides PEPFAR OVC programming in countries where it works. This Guidance includes many prioritized activities that are in line with the three principal objectives of the APCA, as well as the PEPFAR Blueprint for Creating and AIDS-Free Generation. The guidance outlines evidence-based interventions that we know work for children in adversity and specifically for children living with and affected by AIDS.

Principal Objectives of the US Government ACTION PLAN are

  • Build strong beginnings: help ensure that children under five not only survive, but also thrive by supporting comprehensive programs that promote sound development of children.
  • Put family care first: support and enable families to care for their children, prevent unnecessary family-child separation, and promote appropriate, protective, and permanent family care.
  • Protect children: facilitate efforts of national governments and partners to prevent, respond to, and protect children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.

PEPFAR supports, and will continue to support, APCA objectives through programming, such as:

1.  Support for Strong Beginnings (Objective 1) through Early Childhood Development (ECD) and the Essential Package in PEPFAR programs, including OVC, the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and Pediatric Care and Treatment.

  • In Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa, PEPFAR-supported projects have led to the establishment of thousands of new pre-school classes for young children, integration of attachment and stimulation into household visits for new mothers, and the development of new pediatric AIDS programs.

2.  Putting Family Care First (Objective 2) is supported by

  • Keeping parents alive and productive through provision of treatment—preventing 1.6 million children from becoming orphans.
  • Household economic strengthening which prevents the separation of children from families due to the heavy economic burden placed by HIV. Globally, PEPFAR OVC programs have supported 9,000 Village Savings and Loans Associations in 15 countries. As a result of these efforts, approximately 720,000 children affected by AIDS are living in families with improved economic stability.

3.  Protection of Children from Violence (Objective 3)

  • PEPFAR is the largest supporter of social welfare systems strengthening and delivery of services at community level, which are critical to community protection and responding to cases of abuse.
  • PEPFAR OVC programs are funding and supporting Violence Against Children (VAC) studies in 3-5 countries over the next 3 years.
  • PEPFAR is also on the leadership council of the public private partnership Together For Girls (TFG) consortium, which supports coordination of efforts such as VAC surveys and response plans for violence against children efforts.

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