The world’s children are facing multiple crises, from declining vaccination rates to full-scale war. To successfully care for this next generation, we must therefore address every part of their experience: housing, health, nutrition, education, poverty, violence, climate, and any other issues that touch their lives. 

First Focus on Children is proud to be part of the Children’s Policy and Funding Initiative and joins other nongovernmental organizations in “A Generation At Stake,” a campaign calling on U.S. leaders and lawmakers to adopt a whole child approach to foreign assistance funding so that all children and young people have the opportunity to thrive on this World Children’s Day and every day.

Our Children’s Budget 2023 documents the inadequate and fragmented nature of funding for children in the U.S. and abroad. Of the billions of dollars the U.S. spends on foreign assistance, just 9 cents of each dollar goes to children. And that 9 cents is spread among multiple accounts, subaccounts, program directives, and more than two dozen offices. The involvement of multiple federal entities obscures the complex needs of children and creates a fragmented, uncoordinated approach to aiding them. In the end, programs and policies for children and young people often lack adequate funding, fail to address their holistic and developmental needs, or sometimes, are missing altogether.

On World Children’s Day 2023, we urge U.S. leaders to think of — and structure funding around — the “whole child.”