02.05.2017 - Press releases

With 3 million beneficiaries in 2016, Tdh child relief reaches a new peak

In 2016, Terre des hommes came to the aid of more than 3 million people worldwide, primarily children. The organisation’s major long-term projects concentrate on healthcare and child protection, and on emergency assistance in the context of crises and disasters.

Children become the first victims of conflicts, natural disasters and poverty. In 2016, the Swiss child relief foundation Terre des hommes (Tdh) reached 3 million people worldwide, primarily children, a first since its establishment in 1960. Today it runs more than 100 projects in 38 countries and has doubled the number of beneficiaries in the past five years.

Thanks to collaboration with decision-makers in the countries concerned, long-term changes take shape at the instigation of Tdh, and these have a sustainable impact on the lives of children. Precisely this happened last year in two exceptional situations: in Burkina Faso, where the state decided, after extensive consultations, to cover the full medical costs for expectant mothers and children under five years of age. And in Palestine, where the government recently introduced a new penal law for minors, already ratified on the same principles in other countries, notably in Latin America. Rather than imprisonment, it encourages, whenever possible, the social reintegration of young people in conflict with the law through a process of mediation.

In 2016, two thirds of the assistance was concentrated on healthcare. The priorities of the child relief foundation deal with the first 1000 days of a child’s life and aim at the reduction of infant and maternal mortality. A total of more than 800,000 babies benefited from medical care last year, 70,000 of them in Bangladesh alone.

Tdh works towards strengthening child protection in situations of conflict and natural disasters. In Iraq, the Swiss organisation was the first international NGO to intervene on the front line between Mosul and Baghdad. Tdh enabled 60,000 displaced persons to get access to drinking water points and set up a safe reception area for the children. In Haiti, after the hurricane Matthew, as in Ecuador after the earthquake, Tdh distributed first aid to the people and improved measures of protection for the children. Syrian refugees were given assistance by Tdh both in Greece and in the camps of the neighbouring countries, Jordan and Lebanon.

“Thanks to the generous support of the Swiss people and institutional donors, we were able to help more vulnerable children than ever in 2016. We will continue our efforts in a context of ongoing challenges, whether the long-standing conflicts in Syria and Iraq, the famine in Africa or the deteriorating living conditions in many countries”, explains Terre des hommes’ Director, Vito Angelillo.

© Tdh/Ollivier Girard.