Every year, more than one billion children – or half of the world’s children – experience some form of violence. Exposure to violence compromises a child’s mental and social development, hampers educational outcomes and reduces opportunities for gainful employment.
In 2017, a group of agencies led by World Vision commissioned Counting Pennies, a review of ODA to identify how much international aid was spent to end violence against children. Our third round of this analysis (Counting Pennies III) was published in September and found that in 2020, the total ODA towards ending violence was just US$1,757.3billion – or 0.78% of the total ODA. The amount spent per child was just US$0.64, the lowest since we began looking at data in 2017.
While completing the latest round of Counting Pennies, we also conducted separate analyses to look at what money was being spent to end sexual violence against children and child marriage in particular. These numbers are even more shocking – just 0.07% of development assistance is spent on ending child marriage. This, even as 23 girls are still being married every minute, and our own field-level data shows a 163% increase in child marriages in the first 18 months of the pandemic, compared to the 18 months leading up to March 2020.