West and Central Africa Annual Review 2014
2014 has been an extraordinary year for Save the Children in West and Central Africa. We have had to grow and stretch ourselves in every possible way to respond to the needs in the region. We have grown in terms of portfolio size, number of children reached, number of staff employed and in impact and visibility.
For everyone living and working in this region, 2014 will remain the year of Ebola, the worst epidemic the world has seen this century. Save the Children has been one of the few INGOs responding to this crisis since March 2014 in the 3 most affected countries, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and in the surrounding countries. This crisis forced us to move from our traditional zone of comfort, with the opening (and managing) of an Ebola Treatment Center in Sierra Leone and several community clinics in Liberia. We invested in our advocacy capability, uniting more than 8 of the major INGOs in the region to ensure the international community responded adequately and in a timely manner to this crisis. But despite the good progress, the crisis is not yet over. Indeed we need to remain vigilant as we move towards zero cases in the region and must focus on building back a stronger, healthier and safer region for children.
Beyond Ebola, West and Central Africa has also been affected by a growing number of humanitarian crises, in an increasingly insecure environment. The regional crisis around the Lake Chad basin, with important displacements in Northern Nigeria and Southern Niger, the civil war in the Central African Republic (CAR), the continued instability in Northern Mali and the ongoing hostilities in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo continue to affect the lives of millions of children. They are unable to access to school or medical facilities and remain exposed every single day to unacceptable levels of violence.
West and Central Africa (WCA) remains key to Save the Children’s 2030 goals of achieving breakthroughs for the most deprived children. WCA is the worst region to be a child or a mother, with the highest prevalence of chronic malnutrition and the highest rate of child mortality in the world. One in every eight children do not make it to their 5th birthday. Children in our region continue to face an unacceptable range of protection risks, including, sexual exploitation and abuse, child labor and domestic violence.
With a budget close to $200 Million, almost 2,000 Staff –including 800 recruited in 2014, operating in 11 countries and 52 field offices, we have been doing our best to respond to this quickly moving and challenging environment. In partnership with many actors, and the support of our Members, we increased our humanitarian capacities and response. We have been diversifying and increasing our portfolio. We have increased our ability to be the voice of the voiceless children!
All this work, would not have been possible, without our dedicated, diverse and talented staff. This report is their report, for all our colleagues, who are in front line every day to make sure that no child will be left behind.
This is the foreword of the 2014 WCA Annual Review, by Natasha Kofoworola Quist, West and Central Africa Regional Director.
To read the entire document, click here.