More than half of all children will experience some form of violence in childhood. This violence isn't only a violation of their rights that jeopardises their ability to fulfil their potential, but also costs societies an estimated 3% to 8% of global GDP. However, despite renewed commitments to end violence since 2015, progress has been slow, and there are concerns that the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic have increased children's risk of violence, including higher rates of child marriage and child labour.
This report, Counting Pennies III, is the third in a series of reports World Vision and partners have done to examine what percentage of Official Development Assistance (ODA) actually goes to ending violence against children. Disappointingly, while children had reduced access to schools and other protective social services, funding to end violence also reduced, from a high of .96% of total ODA in 2018, to just .78% in 2020. The amount spent to end violence against children per child was also less than $1 per child worldwide - just $0.64 per child, the lowest since we began the Counting Pennies series.
The onset of the pandemic and the events of the last two years have precipitated a devastating increase in violence against children around the world, yet even before this, the total amount of funding towards ending violence was tragically low. Despite the overall magnitude of the problem and the cost of inaction, funding also remains heavily concentrated between only a few donors and recipient countries.
With the current climate of fiscal austerity as well as investment being diverted towards tackling various political, health, and environmental crises, this shift in donor priorities will have disproportionately severe consequences for already-underfunded efforts to end violence against children. This is an outcome that must be avoided at all costs. This report features a series of recommendations to increase investment and to improve monitoring of ODA allocations to end violence against children.