Today Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) provided remarks at the White House's official launch of the United States Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity. The Action Plan on Children in Adversity is the first-ever strategic guidance for U.S. Government international assistance for children 0 to 18 years of age who are affected by HIV/AIDS, orphans, trafficked, exploited for child labor, in disasters, recruited as soldiers, neglected, or in other vulnerable states. The Action Plan is unique in that seven agencies and departments have agreed to align funding that address needs of vulnerable children toward three goals.
"This plan important step forward, not only towards addressing the growing crisis facing orphans and vulnerable children, but towards a more proactive foreign policy aimed at addressing the root causes of these problems," said Congresswoman Lee. "As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to fight for the critical investments we need to continue and expand these vital programs."
United States Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity was developed partially in response to Congresswoman Lee's 2005 bill, The Assistance for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act. This legislation established the position of Special Advisor for Orphans and Vulnerable Children within the USAID to better coordinate and provide assistance in support of basic care; treatment for HIV-infected children; psychosocial support; school food programs; educational opportunities through the elimination of school fees; and inheritance rights for orphans and vulnerable children.
At the time of signing, Lee's bill had 130 co-sponsors in the House and support from more than 30 non-governmental organizations working on HIV/AIDS and international aid issues. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives with bi-partisan support, was unanimously passed by the Senate and signed into signed into Law by President Clinton on November 8, 2005 (Public Law 109-95).