African Journal of Social Work

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Vulnerability mitigation through the assistance for orphans and other vulnerable children in developing countries

Kingsley Chigbu


This paper analyzes the United States of America (U.S). House Resolution 1409 (H.R.1409) also referred to as the “Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2005 (AOVC).” This legislation enables the U.S. to provide support to orphans and other  vulnerable individuals including those subjected to violence and other forms of exploitation due to Human Immune deficiency Virus (HIV) or Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the developing countries. The Act is administered through the United States Agency for International  Development (USAID). Using the Multi-Phasic Policy Analysis Model (MPAM), the author assesses the AOVC implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa (36 countries), using the Annual Congressional Reports and data from the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the United Nations  Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The reports and data were subjected to the six criteria of the MPAM. Focusing on 2005 and 2011, lessons learned show that improvements are needed, despite the progress the AOVC has  recorded in addressing the needs of vulnerable children in Sub-Saharan Africa. This analysis also includes recommendations for social work policy, practice, and research.

Key terms: Orphans, vulnerable children, violence, exploitation, AIDS-related parental death, social work, Sub-Saharan Africa

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