Save the Children UK says pandemic and global conflict has caused £49m income fall

Save the Children UK’s income dropped by £49m last year, with the charity saying that “Covid-19 and conflicts around the world” has impacted on its work.

It said global conflict has “disrupted the flow of aid” to its programmes.

Meanwhile, the pandemic hindered its ability to raise funds through fundraising events and through its shops, due to social distancing guidelines.

Its annual report for 2021 also details a fall in income from institutions, corporates, major donors, and trusts.

It received £28m less from institutional donors, with government international aid cuts in particular impacting on its finances.

Elsewhere, its charity shops lost £500,000, although the charity predicts they will “return to profitability this year”.

Conflicts in Myanmar, Yemen and Afghanistan are cited as key factors in disruption to its work programmes.

“Our performance in 2021 was affected by an exceptional combination of factors,” said Save the Children UK chief financial officer Francis D’Souza.

“The position is improving in 2022 as fundraising and trading recover. We’ve also seen an incredible outpouring of generosity towards families driven from their homes in Ukraine.”

Pension fund deficit

The charity has stopped making deficit payments into its pension fund, which showed a surplus at the end of 2021.

However, Save the Children UK has identified a “potential liability dating back to the 1990s”. Any payments to address any new deficit “would be expected to be at a similar level to those of previous years”, added the charity.

The charity’s annual report showed it spent £236m last year, including £203m on charitable activities including its international and UK programmes.

Over the year 43m children were supported and it responded to 103 humanitarian emergencies in 80 countries.

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