Annual report 2017

In 2017, thanks to our amazing supporters and partners we were able to reach 165,237 children, young people and adults – beating our annual target of 160,000.


A report from United Nations global programme UNICEF summarised 2017 as a year in which children in conflict zones around the world have come under attack at a shocking scale. It went so far as to question whether a “new normal” in wars now involves the wilful and deliberate targeting of children in schools, playgrounds and in their homes.

Against this backdrop, War Child teams continued to deliver vital support to children and families affected by war. The conflict in Afghanistan saw growing numbers of civilian casualties. Combatants increasingly target aid workers trying to support local communities. Central Africa remained unstable. Regional powers and the proxies fought with vicious force across the towns and cities of Yemen. And, the military campaign to recapture Mosul in Iraq from ISIS control resulted in the deadliest urban battles seen anywhere since the Second World War.

Despite the increasing difficulty of operating in many countries, we continued to focus on improving the quality of our services. In particular, we committed to using innovation to improve our impact and effectiveness. This stretched across our activities, from our Can’t Wait to Learn programme using tablet technology and digital games to deliver education to children whose families have fled from the Syrian war, to our VoiceMore youth advocacy programmes which are transforming the ability of children to influence global and local leadership and be a part of community decision making. Since late 2017, the international NGO sector has been increasingly scrutinised for both the quality of its delivery and the behaviour of its people. It is an important debate. The trust placed in charities by our beneficiaries and our supporters is only deserved if we act and police ourselves to the highest standards. Throughout 2017, War Child continued to invest in internal oversight, audit processes and systems. These are more important than ever if we are to keep proving to the world that we practice the values that we espouse. So, continuing to develop and improve these areas will be an important focus for our managers and trustees.

Thank you to all our ambassadors and all our supporters. Your commitment makes our work possible. Your endless energy and passion drives all of us at War Child to work harder every day for every child whose life has been torn apart by war, and whose future depends on the support that we give them today.