Our Plans for 2020 - and Beyond
The number of active armed conflicts around the world is growing - and so are the humanitarian and psychological needs of the children forced to live with the effects of these conflicts.
With never-before seen threats having a direct impact on the lives of the children we work with - the situation on the ground has changed irreversibly too. Which means our emergency response to meet their needs in the coming years needs to be more relevant and agile than ever.
Meeting Challenges Worldwide
War Child works in countries where life-sustaining services are disrupted by armed conflict - countries where the spread of COVID-19 may trigger an eventual system collapse. In 2020 we will continue to adapt our activities to meet the fresh challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
This pandemic’s impacts are extensive and varied. The global fallouts it is already beginning to inflict are likely to last much longer. Collaboration with other agencies is the only way forward to meet this new challenge. We will enter into new partnerships with local agencies, organisations based in the south and international NGOs to find solutions quicker, deliver them faster and raise awareness on personal protection against the virus and its fallouts.
In Lebanon we will strengthen our public information campaigns to address fear and anxiety as a result of nationwide curfews. In Jordan we will deliver education and information by phone and online to shield children from misinformation and abuse. In Colombia we are distributing childcare kits and hygiene materials to keep children and their families engaged. And in Sri Lanka we’re developing new responses to meet urgent needs in remote communities - helping to set up water facilities and conduct awareness-raising sessions with the support of local youth groups.
In Africa - where COVID-19 took longer to take hold - we have already taken our message into the heart of communities - where local artists like Check-B Magic can make our words resonate. As the continent moves from readiness to response, we will move with them - even from afar - to coordinate emergency humanitarian responses across the region.
We are also developing remote child protection, education and psychosocial support for children and caregivers living with the effects of isolation. Our approach - to leave no child behind. Extraordinary times must be met with an extraordinary response - but one that remains relevant to children’s evolving realities.
“Our mission demands that we are relevant for children and stand in solidarity with them when they need our urgent support.”
To that end the effectiveness of our work will accelerate - through innovative ideas and further development of our R&D-based Care System. Can’t Wait to Learn is actively responding to the long-term impact the crisis will have - working to make its educational games available to children at home in lockdown. And we have adapted our TeamUp activities to meet the needs of children and their caregivers living in isolation. TeamUp at Home - launched in partnership with Save the Children and UNICEF Netherlands - has seen our successful play and movement activities go online. A fast - and fun - response to a major challenge.
All of these efforts will contribute towards increased protection for children and youth - as well as the important adults in their lives - when they need our support most.
Coronavirus Pandemic: Wider Impact
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on public life and the global economy also affects War Child’s product demand and supply. We anticipate that this will have a negative effect on our financial performance in 2020. However, due to the uncertainty regarding the magnitude and duration of the corona crisis, we cannot yet quantify this impact. We will continue to review our activities and take action wherever possible.
War Child composed an Emergency Response Team in March 2020 to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. This has allowed us to take immediate action towards the continuation of War Child activities by adapting or re-engineering our interventions. Additionally, the Emergency Response Team has been tasked with enabling the development of awareness-raising materials and resources to inform and support communities in our programme countries.
Our Emergency Response Team started with early assessments of the consequences of the pandemic and necessary measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 - both within our countries of operation and international fundraising activities. Frequent consultations with management and continuous evaluation enables the Emergency Response Team to act quickly and adjust our approach wherever necessary.
War Child’s emergency coronavirus approach pays particular attention to the following:
We have implemented international precautions and regulations, based on the recommendations of official health authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and RIVM in the Netherlands. Through these precautions and guidelines, we strive to minimise health risks for the children and caregivers we work with, our employees, suppliers and consumers;
Due to the corona crisis, it is more or less impossible to implement our global programmes as intended. Many activities continue in modified or slimmed-down form. Existing projects - with adapted or downsized activities funded by donors - need to be reconfigured, indicating a significant degree of dependence on specific donors. In addition to revising existing projects with donors, we are currently also working on new proposals to donors - aimed at activities to mitigate the negative consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
We performed a scenario-analysis to manage the liquidity risk due to the corona crisis which revealed that our liquidity is sufficient.