Covid-19: Save the Children UK losing more than £2m a month due to pandemic

Save the Children UK is losing more than £2m a month of income due to social distancing measures put in place to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

The charity says that it is losing more the amount, citing shop closures and cancellation of fundraising events as key factors.

So far this year 200 of its 900 staff have been furloughed for periods since the outbreak took hold in the UK.

The figures are revealed as the charity announces its annual report for 2019, which shows that the pay of senior staff was frozen to 2018 levels, with Save the Children UK chief executive Kevin Watkins, the highest earner at £143,000.

In addition, Save the Children UK’s executive directors have now taken a 10% pay cut until the end of this year.

The charity has also announced it increased its income by £4m to £307m in 2019 as it look to make up for a decline in government funding through gaining more money from other sources.

While income from individual donors fell by £1m to £73m over the year, corporate donations went up by £5m to £20m, including £9m from pharmaceutical firm GSK.

Charity Commission inquiry

During 2019 the charity received £17m less from the government than the previous year as it withdrew from bids and new funding during a Charity Commission inquiry.

The regulator found that the charity had ‘let down’ staff and the public over its mismanagement of harassment complaints made about its ex-CEO, Justin Forsyth.

The charity says it has taken a range of measures “to improve its working culture” during the inquiry and all the Commissions recommendations have been accepted.

Watkins has warned that the Covid-19 pandemic will place further demands on the humanitarian aid sector globally.

“The massive economic disruption and the lockdown have hurt many of our country’s poorest families, left children out of school and disrupted lives,” he said

“The pandemic also threatens to bring devastation to the world’s poorest countries. Already weak health systems could be rapidly overwhelmed. As economic pressures mount, there is now a real and present danger that millions more children could be thrown into poverty, robbed of their education and subjected to devastating new health threats.”

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