USAID: PL 109-95’s Context

U.S. Agency for International Development 

This law, which was intended to respond to the global orphans and vulnerable children crisis, calls for the U.S. Government’s response to the crisis to be “comprehensive, coordinated, and effective.” Specifically, the legislation aims to improve the coordination, comprehensiveness, and effectiveness of U.S. Government assistance for highly vulnerable children.

The legislation calls for the submission of an annual report to Congress that provides legislators with updated information about orphan and vulnerable children research and action. Copies of the reports can be found below.

PL 109-95’s Context:

Click image to read entire PL 109-95 legislation

The 2006 Strategy for Implementation of PL 109-95 outlined seven parameters for programming assistance for highly vulnerable children:

  1. Focus on stressed communities
  2. Reliance on local institutions or communities to determine the most vulnerable children and to determine the most-needed services
  3. Preference for family/household care rather than institutional care
  4. Preference for a development approach that creates ownership and limits dependency
  5. Adherence to the five key strategies of the Framework for Protection, Care and Support of Orphans and Vulnerable Children Living in a World of HIV and AIDS (see below)
  6. Strengthening of partnerships and knowledge exchange between implementing organizations that are primarily child centered and those that focus on economic empowerment.
  7. Taking gender into consideration

 U.S. Government definition of highly vulnerable children: children under 18 whose safety, well-being, or development is at significant risk due to inadequate care, protection, or access to essential services, which are defined as globally agreed-upon inputs that children need to grow into contributing members of society. These include

  • Education
  • Food
  • Nutrition
  • Shelter
  • Protection
  • Health Care
  • Livelihood Opportunities
  • Psychosocial Support

Five Strategies from the Global Framework to Address Orphans, Children and HIV/AIDS:

  • Strengthen capacity of families to protect and care for highly vulnerable children by prolonging the lives of parents and providing economic, psychosocial and other support
  • Mobilize and support community-based responses
  • Ensure access for highly-vulnerable children to essential services
  • Ensure that governments protect the most vulnerable children through improved policy and legislation and by channeling resources to families and communities.
  • Raise awareness at all levels through advocacy and social mobilization to create a supportive environment for highly vulnerable children and families

U.S. Government agencies’ approach to reduce vulnerabilities:

  1. Direct delivery of essential services to large numbers of highly vulnerable children or highly vulnerable populations. This includes:
    1. Support for victims of natural disasters and emergencies
    2. Support for refugee resettlement
    3. HIV/AIDS-related care
    4. Reduction of exploitive child labor
  2. Capacity-building to foster sustainability
  3. Policy, Diplomacy, and Advocacy
  4. Demonstration Projects and Research to improve knowledge of the causes of vulnerability among children, understand how to develop strategies for preventing vulnerability, and testing interventions for those who are already vulnerable
  5. Documentation and Dissemination of Information
    1. PL 109-95 aims to expand information among USG agencies and partners about current work efforts and to encourage widespread dissemination of research results, policy analysis, and sound practices
  6. Integration with Broader Development Efforts
    1. Strive to integrate orphan and vulnerable children programs with broad-based programs (including education, child survival and health, enterprise and agriculture development, etc.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *