Fatima peeks out from the side of a curtain as she talks about child marriage
3 February 2021

Report shows underfunding of child protection

Less than 1% of international aid money used to end violence against children

Report shows child protection underfunding

Ending violence against children remains alarmingly underfunded, despite one billion children experiencing violence each year, according to a new report.

Counting Pennies II, published today by World Vision and partnering aid agencies including UNICEF, Save the Children, Plan International and Child Fund, reveals that in 2018, less than £1.4 billion of official development assistance (ODA) was invested in causes relating to ending violence against children. Only £373 million (less than 75p per child) was spent on specific projects to tackle violence against children.

More positively, researchers found that since the initial report Counting Pennies I, published in 2017, investment into ending violence against children has increased by 67 per cent.

Andrew Morley, World Vision International President & CEO said, "While we welcome increases in funding to tackle violence against children, this still means under one per cent of overseas aid funding is committed to this cause. There is a long road ahead to end violence against children and we challenge leaders to do more."

"COVID-19 has caused untold harm on children’s safety and well-being and adds the potential of leaving up to 85 million more children at risk of violence. With more than a billion children worldwide already facing violence, anyone who reads this report will be left in no doubt about the scale of the problem. The figures shown in this report prove there is not only a huge and heart-breaking personal cost to children and their futures – but also to society as a whole."

Child soldier in South Sudan stands in front of other people, his face concealed

We must end violence against children

Aid agencies are calling on donors to increase funding to end violence against children in humanitarian and non-humanitarian settings. An estimated 80 per cent of services to address violence against children have been disrupted during the coronavirus pandemic, exacerbating an already existing need to scale up child protection.

The report also recommends that the global community should collaborate to produce a defined method for tracking investments into ending violence against children in order to increase clarity and transparency for all.

Morley says: “World leaders must seize the opportunity to build back better, and to eradicate the scourge of violence against children once and for all, ensuring that children everywhere can reach their God-given potential.”