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Rose Caldwell, Executive Director of Concern Worldwide UK, looks back on 2018 and what we achieved with your help
In 2018, we marked 50 years since Concern Worldwide’s formation in response to the war, and resulting famine, in Biafra, Nigeria. Since then we have gone on to help millions of the world’s poorest people in some of the most unstable and fragile nations. In 2018 Concern Worldwide made a positive impact on the lives of 24.2 million people in 25 countries.
In total, Concern (UK) raised £22.3 million last year. £15.3 million of this was from institutional funders in the UK, such as the Disasters Emergencies Committee (DEC) and the Department for International Development (DFID). This was a significant but anticipated drop in income from 2018, due to a reduction in emergency response and hence funding and the decision to finish operations in several countries. The funds raised enabled us to tackle childhood malnutrition and rebuild livelihoods in Bangladesh. It helped us provide clean water for hundreds of thousands of people in Yemen, and to assist vulnerable communities to mitigate against drought and the predicted effects of climate change in Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In addition, last year, despite an uncertain and challenging social and political landscape in Britain and Northern Ireland, donations from the UK public totalled £6.8 million. Such a generous and affirming response to our work enabled us to support vital food security programmes in the Central African Republic and Ethiopia, and improve water sanitation in northern Kenya, and provide shelter for Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Hunger and nutrition have remained the primary focus of our advocacy work in the UK in 2018. During the year, we campaigned for greater investment in tackling hunger in countries with the highest levels of malnutrition, particularly those affected by conflict. We believe that the UK government has a major role to play in securing greater support for nutrition ahead of the 2020 Global Nutrition Summit in Japan. Concern (UK) also advocated strongly for the need to help communities build resilience to crises and respond more quickly to disasters.
Underlining our commitment to do everything in our power to protect our staff and beneficiaries, Concern (UK) also worked to strengthen our safeguarding practices in 2018 and successfully completed a DFID safeguarding review.
Our achievements over the year would not have been possible without the extraordinary trust and confidence our supporters and donors place in us. Without this we would not be able to continue our work and provide a lifeline for communities around the world facing the devastating consequences of conflict, violence and displacement, and the impact of natural disasters.
That is something we should all feel proud of, and for which I am hugely grateful.