War Child’s work in countries affected by armed conflict presents serious safety and security challenges - to both our staff and our beneficiaries. The contexts in which we work are highly dynamic and the threats we face frequently unpredictable. These twin challenges require continuous monitoring as well as robust management of safety and security issues.
Strong security management mechanisms have been implemented across all operational levels of the organisation in the past two years. This risk-based approach allows us to balance the threats to our staff’s safety and security while maintaining the shape and impact of our programmes.
Clear and robust contingency planning allows for the successful continuation of our activities through reducing the impact of emerging threats. This approach and its supporting procedures are laid out in our Global Security Policy. The approach is effectively implemented through the creation of Country Security Management Plans for all our countries of operation.
War Child recorded twelve security incidents involving staff over the course of 2017. More than half of these incidents involved minor traffic accidents caused by dangerous driving conditions. The remaining incidents were related to petty crime and breaches of our protocols – and, while significant, resulted in only minor impact on our staff and activities.
One further issue - which did not directly affect the safety of our staff but did have an impact on our programmes - was the US pledge to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. This pledge was met with widespread rioting across the occupied Palestinian territories and forced us to reduce our activities in the region.