International Aid Towards Ending Violence Against Children Deeply Lacking, First-Ever Study Shows

Richmond, Va. (June 08, 2017) – Out of every dollar the world spends on development assistance, only half a penny supports efforts to end violence against children, according to a new study, Counting Pennies. Commissioned by ChildFund Alliance and others, the study evaluates official development assistance (ODA) — government aid to promote the economic development and welfare of developing countries — targeted towards preventing and responding to violence against children.

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The study found that just 0.6% of ODA went towards ending violence against children in 2015: $238 million to projects aimed solely at ending violence against children; and $838 to projects that included ending violence against children among other goals — for a total of $1.076 billion. This comes at a time when ODA, particularly from the U.S., is in jeopardy. The administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget proposal called for a 32% cut to the State Department and USAID, a cut that would have devastating consequences to children and families worldwide.

“Instead of decimating spending for foreign assistance, we must commit even more resources to protect our children from physical, emotional and sexual violence — and the violence caused by neglect,” said ChildFund President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard. “Violence against children carries enormous and lingering costs — in the lives of individual children and in societies as a whole,” she said, “The economic toll alone runs as high as $7 trillion a year worldwide.”

The United Nations made ending violence against children a formal international development priority for the first time in 2015 when it ratified the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Counting Pennies study calls for governments to stand behind this commitment with the investment necessary to seriously tackle violence against children. The study names evidence-based strategies identified by the World Health Organization that combat violence against children and recommends that donors begin to systematically categorize and track their spending to end child violence, much as they do for other priorities like infrastructure and water and sanitation.

ChildFund Alliance, World Vision International, SOS Children’s Villages and Save the Children collaborated to commission the report. Contributors to the research also include The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children and UNICEF. The executive summary and full report may be found here.


About ChildFund International
ChildFund International partners with communities throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas – including the United States – to create lasting, positive change for children. Our programs address the underlying conditions that prevent children and youth from achieving their full potential. Last year, we reached almost 18 million children and family members. Approximately 200,000 Americans support our work by sponsoring individual children or investing in ChildFund programs. Together, we advocate worldwide for the protection and well-being of all children. Within the U.S. government, we advocate to elevate and advance the issues of international child protection and child well-being across U.S. foreign assistance policy and funding priorities. Find out more at

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