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Annual Report 2023 Foreword

Young peacemakers Arsenii and Safia

'Your country IS your people'

Our Young Peacemakers’ Assembly was launched in 2023 and brings together 15 young people aged 14–17 from Afghan, Somali, Sudanese, Syrian, Ukrainian and Yemeni communities in England.

They are passionate about campaigning for a better world for children and refugees affected by conflict. So far, the young people have received training and support to develop a campaign aimed at influencing decision-makers to improve the lives of refugee children and children in conflict.


In presenting this year’s Annual Report, I reflect on our collective journey of exploring a vision of a bright future.

This journey helped me to develop my vision of the perfect future. My dream is based on fostering positive cooperation among nations to reduce challenges that cause suffering for children worldwide.

I want to achieve a global environment where countries work together to address the vulnerabilities that affect our young citizens.

Globally, my concern is with the consequences of conflicts stemming from diplomatic failures, with devastating consequences. As advocates of peace, we emphasise the urgent need for a diplomatic solution to prevent humanitarian injuries in complex international relations. At the national level, I advocate for prioritising life over states.

My government is urged to focus on saving lives, recognising that real strength lies in preserving the public good. I will find a way to deliver the fundamental truth to world leaders: “Your country is your people”.

May this report inspire a commitment to a collaborative, compassionate world in which dreams of harmonious futures become shared realities in countries such as Ukraine and Russia, where I believe things would be different if the heads of the government had a similar approach to the conflict.


I joined the Young Peacemakers’ Assembly because I am passionate about climate change and conflict and their effects in the global South.

Currently I am campaigning on the impacts of climate change on indigenous and nomadic Zaghawa communities in Chad and Sudan.

This issue affects me directly as I am from that community and have first hand experience of the impact. Growing up with my grandma in a nomadic community I can see how climate change affected our daily lives, from our camels dying, increased droughts and difficulty accessing water. Which led to many people settling into towns and cities and forced them to abandon the nomadic lifestyle.

I want to raise awareness of the Sudanese refugees in Adré, Chad, who haven’t been getting the media attention that they deserve, so I would like to do my part. The actions of world leaders on climate issues have real‑life consequences on vulnerable indigenous communities like mine.

I would like to see world leaders sitting with my community leaders and listening to what their needs are and what’s the best way to help them adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change. I would like world leaders to work with international aid organisations to provide humanitarian support to people that need it. 

Giving children opportunities to reach their potential

2023 was one of the most challenging years for children in Save the Children’s history, although it demonstrated the importance of supporting children and families around the world, regardless of the emergencies they face.

Thanks to the generosity of the public and through our partnership with the Disasters Emergency Committee, we are able to support emergencies around the world.

Following the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, Save the Children responded quickly to provide families with urgent food, water, and shelter, followed by longer‑term support.

We also responded in locations including Gaza, Ukraine, Pakistan, and Myanmar. Working with our networks and partners in these regions makes an enormous difference to our ability to support children whose lives are in danger and whose futures are under threat.

We distributed hygiene products and recreational kits in Gaza through local partners, and we also started to provide mental health and psychosocial support to children and their families.

In the UK, we worked with over 300 organisations to support local communities and engage with children and parents.

More than 30,000 people took part in our community projects and events. Together, we are working to make sure all children get a fair chance to realise their dreams.

As we look ahead to 2024, Save the Children’s work to protect children is more vital than ever. By strengthening our work with local communities, partners, supporters and young people, we can continue to drive change and support the health, learning and safety of children who need it most.

When children are given fair opportunities, they can reach their potential and achieve a future where anything is possible.

By working together, we can help children everywhere take their futures into their own hands.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

In 2023, we faced unprecedented challenges in our mission to support children in crisis.

From persistent conflicts to the global hunger crisis, climate instability, and rising living costs; the year truly tested our resolve.

Our commitment to ensuring every child can survive, learn, and be protected has never been more crucial or felt more ambitious.

Our dedication to this mission remains steadfast, driven by the resilience of children and their families that we witness every day.

The projects, case studies and stories in this report are a testament to the unwavering support of our donors, partners, volunteers, and staff. Their compassion, dedication, and generosity have been fundamental in advancing our mission.

We acknowledge the risks our colleagues bravely confront in some of the countries where we operate. Our thoughts are with those we have lost this year, individuals who dedicated themselves to championing and safeguarding the rights of children in places where it is dangerous to simply be a child.


Save the Children UK is a leading member of the Save the Children Movement. In 2023, we continued to support the Movement in responding swiftly to crises worldwide.

Our joint emergency response work aided communities in 55 countries, reaching 28 million people (page 7). This included providing assistance during earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria, as well as conflicts in Sudan, Ukraine, Yemen and Gaza.

The Movement’s Humanitarian Fund played a crucial role in enabling rapid responses to escalating crises globally. By mobilising local partners and communities, the fund facilitated the delivery of life-saving interventions to address the most critical needs of children.

The latter part of the year was overshadowed by the conflict in Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank. During the initial two months of the conflict, our efforts assisted over 70,000 people, approximately half of whom were children.

Working with the Country and Regional Offices alongside local partners, we provided crucial support. In the UK, our advocacy efforts included launching a public petition signed by over 200,000 individuals, urging the UK Government to pursue a definitive ceasefire and ensure full humanitarian access. The humanitarian needs are immense, and we anticipate this conflict will remain a priority in 2024.

As well as reacting to crises, we prioritised proactive measures to strengthen communities before disaster strikes. This year, our focus on resilience-building has included advocating for enhanced Anticipatory Action plans in Somalia (page 22) and implementing social protection programmes in Nigeria (page 22).

At home, we have been campaigning for reduced childcare costs in the UK (page 25).

In our development work, we are committed to shifting power and resources to local and national organisations, communities and children, putting children’s voices at the heart of all that we do. Whether that is by promoting a healthy start in life (page 12), fostering educational opportunities (page 15), and advocating for a childhood free from violence (page 18).


We acknowledge the persistent challenges and the imperative work that lies ahead.

As we look to the forthcoming year, commencing the recruitment process for our next CEO marks the beginning of a new chapter, coinciding with the return of our Chair of the Board, Tsitsi Chawatama-Kwambana, from maternity leave.

Our sincere appreciation to Gwen Hines who stepped down as CEO in February 2024. We extend heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has played a part in our journey.

Together, we have had a lasting impact on the lives of many children, and together, we will continue in our efforts to create a brighter future for every child, everywhere.