In 2022 War Child was able to recover our income from the difficulties of COVID-19. The pandemic had badly affected our unrestricted and restricted fundraising through 2020 and 2021. Both areas sprung back into action in 2022, at a much higher level than we had seen before the pandemic hit.
We were grateful for this increased support. 2022 was an incredibly challenging year for children living in conflict areas. The economic collapse in Afghanistan deepened, leaving families with no income after work dried up, and forcing them to consider dangerous coping strategies including sending children out to scavenge from the streets or even selling daughters to families looking for marriage partners. We scaled up our programming significantly in Afghanistan to ensure that families facing financial ruin could rely on cash and other support from War Child UK teams and avoid resorting to measures which would be disastrous for their children. In Afghanistan alone we worked with over 100,000 children and carers. We saw a huge increase in the numbers of Afghan children trafficked to Iran and in need of our help to get back to their homes. We are also responding to huge psychosocial and educational needs of children and their parents who are struggling to survive displacement and economic collapse.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine created high levels of distress that would be hard to exaggerate. The response in Ukraine was a joint venture between War Child UK and War Child Holland, with each of us providing staff and funding. Other parts of the family played a key role. Children in Conflict, working with our Ambassadors Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford, raised $1.3million for our emergency response within five weeks of the outbreak of the conflict.
We are amazed by the rapid development of War Child UK, and constantly aware that this is only possible because we have an amazing community of Ambassadors, champions, donors, and campaigners who carry our cause with them on a daily basis and continue to build this organisation. It is a privilege to be a part of this development, which is so important for so many children. I am grateful every day for this support.