Annual Report 2018

2018 was another proud year for War Child in our efforts to support and stand up for children in some of the most hostile environments on earth. As a result of our work, more than 100,000 children and their families living with the scourge of conflict across Africa and the Middle East were able to access a range of crucial services.


In 2018 War Child was proud to support 123,000 children, young people and adults affected by conflict across nine countries in Africa and the Middle East. Our programmes in Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, occupied Palestinian territories (oPt), the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda and Burundi provided children and their families with education, protection services and support to build a livelihood. This included keeping unaccompanied children safe and reuniting them with their families in Afghanistan, providing places to learn and recover from the trauma of war in Yemen, and supporting children to reintegrate back into their communities in the CAR after being involved with armed groups.

We also invested and innovated in our programmes from significantly scaling up our support to children whose lives have been uprooted by the conflict in Kasai, DRC to developing innovative methodologies to deliver psychosocial support through sport, as well as further refining a sector-leading approach to the reintegration of child soldiers. This has built the foundations for us to help more children in areas of acute need in 2019, using new approaches based on our existing knowledge and expertise. 

Alongside our direct programmatic interventions, we have also campaigned and advocated for the rights and needs of children in conflict. War Child played a crucial role in supporting the establishment of the Global Coalition for Reintegration – a group of countries, donors and NGOs who are coming together to ensure that the thousands of children who leave armed forces and groups every year get access to the support they need, and that appropriate funding is available. 

We also worked closely with the UK government to encourage it to establish the first ever cross-governmental working group on children and armed conflict. These advocacy breakthroughs are already making a difference to children’s lives – and have the potential to considerably enhance the scale of our reach. 

None of our work would have been possible without our success in securing funding. In 2018 our income grew by £3 million to £17 million, the result of efforts across the board. Sector-leading initiatives with the music and gaming industries, strong partnerships with corporate and philanthropic donors, as well as the increasing quality and scale of our grant fundraising with institutional donors and foundations have helped us to continue to invest in the knowledge and expertise to be a high-impact humanitarian agency serving the most vulnerable children in conflict.

In 2018 we also prioritised investment to improve our systems for managing risk. Our dedicated Safety and Safeguarding Advisor is helping to increase knowledge and understanding across the organisation so that incidents can be prevented or detected and dealt with quickly where they arise. Our improved security capacity means that we are better equipped than ever to keep our staff and the children and communities we work with safe. And our improved HR systems enable us to better support and develop our people so that they can deliver the best support for children in conflict. The efforts we have made to better understand and improve our cash flow in 2018 have also enabled us to make more informed decisions about investment and expenditure in the interest of long-term sustainability.

In 2018 not only did we help thousands of children and their families, we also put in place the systems and expertise to be better at what we do in 2019 and beyond.