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This is a critical moment in the fight against global child poverty

Save the Children has published its 2020 Annual Report | Credit: Alamy

Dr Tsitsi Chawatama, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Dr Tsitsi Chawatama, Chair of the Board of Trustees | Save the Children

3 min read Partner content

These are unprecedented times for the world's children. We need action which recognises this now.

I have now been in my role as Chair of the Board for nearly four months and the welcome I have received since joining has been tremendous. The passion for our purpose and the enthusiasm of everyone at Save the Children UK are both inspiring and infectious.

This month, we published our 2020 Annual Report and I’m incredibly proud of what my colleagues have achieved over the past year. Through resilience, solidarity, and teamwork the organisation continues to be an important voice in advocating for and with children and ensuring programmes achieve impact at a time when this has been needed most.

As a global movement working alongside our partners in the UK and worldwide, Save the Children directly supported more than 44 million children in 2020, delivering life-saving health interventions, protecting children affected by war, and supporting struggling families with critical financial and home learning support.

We are working in extraordinary times

The world’s children face daunting challenges and have been deeply scarred by the continued effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In response, Save the Children supported more than 29 million children and adults across 87 countries, including treating nearly 400,000 children under five for acute malnutrition and helping 3.4 million children with distance learning.

This is a critical moment for children globally and in the UK, and our mission demands that we respond effectively to the very real threats facing millions of children.

Alongside our valued partners, Save the Children delivered life-saving healthcare and nutrition to 9 million children caught up in humanitarian emergencies in 2020; fought for girls’ right to an education and tackling obstacles, such as child marriage, that stand in their way; and provided safe spaces and psychological support for children affected by conflict and disaster.

None of our work for children would be possible without the generous support, expertise, and commitment of our supporters and partners. For this we are enormously grateful.

Looking forward

This is a critical moment for children globally and in the UK, and our mission demands that we respond effectively to the very real threats facing millions of children. The 2022–24 strategy development process is a timely opportunity for us to focus on our role and contribution to the wider Save the Children movement, while ensuring we continue to defend child rights, empowering children to speak for themselves and amplifying their voices.

For our mission and for children around the world, the crisis triggered by Covid-19 is a real and present threat. Without concerted national and international action, many of the gains we and others have fought for over so many years could be lost. With that, I end on the brilliant words of Achol, a 14-year-old child campaigner from South Sudan: “I want to tell leaders that we children are looking at you, to ensure our rights are prioritised and you give us the education we need, because we are seeds of tomorrow.”

This year we launch our first ever digital summary report which you can read here.

Dr Tsitsi Chawatama, is chair of the board at Save the Children UK and is a Consultant Paediatrician at Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust.

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