Vulnerable Children

$23 million*

Minimum Requirement for American Leadership

The Vulnerable Children account, which is provided via the Displaced Children and Orphans Fund (DCOF), supports the care and protection of vulnerable children around the globe, particularly those who have been separated from their families or are at risk of separation.

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Justification for Funding

  • USAID has focused on children in institutional care, those affected by war, or those living and working on the street, as well as children with disabilities and other highly vulnerable children.
  • DCOF, through the Vulnerable Children account, ensures that children reach their developmental milestones, are protected from violence, and grow up in family care. Through coordination, research, and technical capacity building, DCOF is empowering the next generation of leaders.
  • The plan has three goals: (1) create strong beginnings for children; (2) ensure a family for every child; and (3) protect children from abuse, exploitation, violence, and neglect.

Cost of Cuts Below $23 Million

President and Congress Budget Comparison

       Congressional Budget   

       President's Budget Request (Base + OCO)

  • An estimated 8 million children live in institutions.152 million children are engaged in child labor, with 73 million working in hazardous conditions, and 24.9 million people are subject to forced labor.
  • More than 30 million children are internally displaced as a result of conflict or persecution. Cuts to this account would impact international efforts to reduce the number of separated from their families.
  • Based on DCOF-funded research in Cambodia, the number of children living in orphanages has doubled since 2005. Cuts to these programs would inhibit U.S. efforts to deinstitutionalize these children.


$25 million

Opportunity to Catalyze American Leadership


Justification for Additional Funding

  • The requested $25 million would allow the U.S. government to continue providing technical assistance for the care and protection of vulnerable children.
  • A less than 10% increase in funding would allow DCOF to continue progress in priority countries.
  • In Uganda, USAID/DCOF partnered with the Ugandan government in 12 districts to prevent family separation, supported the reintegration of 1,230 separated children into family care, and worked to build the capacity of local government officials to identify families at high risk of child separation and monitor the well-being of children reunified with their families.

Impact of 10% More Funding

$237 million is the amount DCOF has provided to support vulnerable children in more than 45 developing countries since its inception in 1989.

  • Research has shown that adverse childhood experiences, including institutionalization, impacts the healthy brain development of children, effecting future education and employment opportunities.
  • Children with disabilities – over 93 million children – are less likely to attend school, more likely to be institutionalized, at higher risk of physical abuse, and may be more likely to experience ill health and malnutrition. More funding would enable DCOF to reach more children with disabilities living in institutions or at risk of family separation.

*Enacted FY18 Omnibus Appropriation

For more information, please contact: Soshana Hashmie,

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