Risks and Uncertainty
War Child has to combat a variety of challenges that pose a threat to our successful operations. These risks include:
Safety risks present within our countries and regions of operation.
Financial risks related to changes or fluctuations in our income - whether from public donations or official donors.
Operational risks inherent in the people and systems that comprise the organisation.
Reputational risks that could damage War Child in the eyes of the public.
We are particularly vigilant in safeguarding our reputation. Our work with conflict-affected children is undertaken in extremely hard and often chaotic circumstances. It is therefore vital that we have robust policies in place to prevent any incidents that could threaten the safety of the children who participate in our programmes.
We continually examine whether our policies are sound and robust; that our culture provides all colleagues and beneficiaries with a safe space to work in; and that all colleagues and beneficiaries are able to report eventual cases of abuse or negligence of policy.
We also actively monitor risks in all areas of our operation. All operational risks are monitored by our Management Team through a strong set of project-management and control tools. We have also undertaken extensive efforts to establish an organisational structure that allows for constant monitoring and rapid responses - which is essential to uphold the safety and integrity of our programmes.
Our mechanisms for managing financial risks and uncertainty were also strengthened over the course of 2017. We are obliged to share and maintain all financial and programme information related to our countries of operation. This upholds transparency and ensures our decision-making processes are fully visible. We recognise this obligation and invested in the roll-out of new financial reporting systems in 2017 to comply with this obligation.
We also continued to monitor financial risks through our existing budget- and performance-review cycles. War Child operates in environments where risks cannot always be completely mitigated but we are confident that we have robust monitoring mechanisms in place.
War Child holds a financial continuity reserve in compliance with the requirements of the VFI. The reserve is adequate to ensure continuity for six months even if sources of income are lost or unforeseen expenses must be covered.
We expect that the demands on our financial systems - and management of our financial exposures - will increase in future. This is in part due to the organisation’s increasing reliance on earmarked funding for our work with refugees. The Supervisory Board will work to ensure War Child is well placed to meet these demands.