Who are Highly Vulnerable Children (HVC)?

The term “highly vulnerable children” (HVC) generally refers to individuals under age 18 whose safety, well-being, and/or development is at significant risk due to inadequate care, protection or access to essential services. HVC include those who are orphaned; receive inadequate adult support because of death, abandonment, economic distress, or chronic illness; have HIV/AIDS or are suspected of having HIV; are directly affected by armed conflict; live outside of family care; or are otherwise unsupported by traditional social safety nets in their communities. This definition encompasses OVC (Orphans and Vulnerable Children), a term commonly used to describe children affected by HIV and AIDS, especially in lower- and middle-income countries.