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London, 3rd July 2023 - Save the Children UK’s income rose to £294 million last year, an increase of £54m on 2021.

The charity’s annual report, published today, shows donations for families caught up in the Ukraine war accounted for £33m of the increase. These have paid for a wide range of support, from emergency medical kits and a manual on treating blast injuries in children to financial help for refugees arriving in the UK.

Funding from the United Nations was up by £10m, largely for work in Ethiopia and Yemen. Income from individuals and communities rose by £5m but regular donations fell by £900,000 as investment in fundraising was reduced after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Major donors and trusts gave £12m more than in 2021, in part to Save the Children’s Emergency Fund. Strong relationships with corporate partners yielded £19m, £3m up on the previous year.

In a joint introduction to the report, Gwen Hines, the chief executive, and Dr Tsitsi Chawatama-Kwambana, the chair, said overlapping crises in 2022 had tested the charity’s teams as never before.

‘Just as the world began to emerge from the disruption caused by COVID-19, soaring food and fuel prices threw millions of families into poverty and hunger,’ they said. ‘Here in the UK, 30% of children are now growing up in poverty, with their parents unable to afford basics like food, heating and clothing.

‘Extreme weather linked to the climate crisis is becoming far more common and those least responsible for carbon emissions suffer most – from families facing famine in East Africa after the worst drought in 40 years to those in Pakistan where one-third of the country was left under water by unprecedented floods.’

In Ukraine, the fastest and largest displacement of people in Europe since the Second World War  overshadowed acute problems caused by conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen  and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

However, the Save the Children movement reached more than 10 million children in around 40 countries to detect, prevent and treat malnutrition. Save the Children UK spent £76m on emergencies, £56m on education and £44m on health.

The chief executive’s salary remained unchanged at £143,000, while her executive team was cut by one post and cost 14% less than in the previous year.

Mean pay for men was 4.9% higher than for women – down from 7.6% the year before. The ‘ethnicity pay gap’ was little-changed at 3.8%.

The report says four safeguarding investigations were carried out and two volunteers were dismissed for sexual harassment. Action was taken against another volunteer for aggressive behaviour but an allegation of misconduct by a member of staff was found to be unsubstantiated.

A rise in complaints about fundraising was attributed partly to a resumption of face-to-face fundraising and partly to the charity’s decision to reject a donation from a fossil fuel company, the report says.

It highlights an increased focus on campaigning and programmes in the UK. As well as providing emergency grants in its own right, Save the Children joined forces with a network of parent campaigners to secure government support for families. Together, they fed into national policy-making on issues including childcare bills, child maintenance, and reform of the childcare system.

Read Save the Children UK's 2022 annual report.


About Save the Children:

Save the Children exists to help every child get the chance of a future they deserve. In more than 100 countries, including the UK, we make sure children stay safe, healthy and learning – finding new ways to reach children who need us most. For a century, we’ve stood up for children’s rights and made sure their voices are heard. With children, for children, we change the future for good.