Official development assistance to end violence against children remains shockingly low: Counting Pennies 3

counting pennies 3

Violence against children is a global epidemic. It occurs in every country of the world and impacts a billion children each year. But the scale of international government aid to tackle this issue continues to be grossly inadequate, finds Counting Pennies 3, a new report by, World Vision, End Violence and partners.

Counting Pennies 3 is a third in a series of analyses of the official development assistance (ODA) invested to end violence against children - government aid that promotes and specifically targets the economic development and welfare of developing countries. The latest report tracks investment in 2020 – the year that the world was shocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impacts. This includes the significant negative impact on violence against children that saw increases in child labour, child marriage and increased risks of physical, emotional and sexual violence both online and at home. 

The figures revealed by the report are concerning: the ODA investment in ending violence against children is still less than 1% of total ODA. The amount of funding – especially taking into account the impact of the pandemic, conflict and climate change on children and its associated costs – remains ‘shockingly low and heavily concentrated among only a few donors and recipient countries’. 

The evidence shows that:

  • ODA investment to end violence against children has decreased by 10% since 2018. In fact, spending on projects that solely address violence against children was 50% lower in 2020 compared with 2018. 
  • The amount of ODA investment per child is just US$ 0.64 – down from US$ 0.68.
  • Only 10% of funding for ending violence against children was related to the response to the pandemic, despite heightened risks and increased incidents of violence.
  • The great majority of ODA for ending violence against children comes from 10 donors that account for about 86% of total investment. Except in the case of Sweden, only a very small percentage of the funding was related to specific interventions to end violence against children.      

The concerning gap in investment revealed in the report highlights the urgent need to continue making the case for an increase in funding to end violence against children. Decisive action now is not only an investment to prevent the devastating inter-generational social and economic impacts of violence on children and societies, it is a cost-effective accelerator to address the impacts of COVID-19 and help achieve multiple Sustainable Development Goals. The Together to #ENDviolence policy proposal for more investment, better spent calls for all governments and donors – public and private – to commit to costing and adequately funding the implementation of action plans to end violence against children.

With only eight years to go to achieve Agenda 2030, End Violence is calling on global leaders to prioritise the protection of the world’s children in their policies, planning, budgets and public messaging. By working together, we can chart a path towards a world where every child grows up in a safe, secure and nurturing environment. 

The Counting Pennies Report is prepared by World Vision International in collaboration with ChildFund Alliance, Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, Plan International, Save the Children, Office of the UN Representative of the Secretary-General to End Violence against Children and UNICEF. Read the full Counting Pennies 3 report here.

Learn more about the Together to #ENDviolence policy proposals.


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