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01.07.2019 - Press releases

Major progress in the countries of intervention in 2018

Last year, Terre des hommes improved the living conditions of 4.2 million children and members of their communities in 42 countries. The increase of 35 percent compared to the previous year is partly thanks to an innovative approach in healthcare. In addition, Switzerland's leading child relief organisation received the prestigious Balzan Prize for Humanity, Peace and Fraternity Among Peoples.

2018 was a particularly difficult year for children. 420 million of them, 60 million more than in 2017, experienced war. Almost 20 percent of all children in the world were living in regions affected by armed violence. More than 870,000 children under the age of five, including 100,000 babies, lost their lives in conflict zones last year. This was due to malnutrition, poor hygiene and insufficient access to healthcare. Last year, Terre des hommes (Tdh) provided emergency aid to over one million children and their families in crisis areas such as Nigeria, South Sudan, Bangladesh and Iraq.

Tdh's school enrolment project in Iraq last year enabled 150,000 children to return to school. "We are helping them to develop essential skills to deal with traumatic experiences", says Marta Alberici, our Child Protection and Education Coordinator in Iraq. Together with Better Shelter Foundation, Tdh has built 1150 mobile shelters to replace schools damaged during the conflict.

Thanks to an innovative approach, Tdh has provided 1.6 million children with access to better healthcare in West Africa. This figure represents a record for Tdh and development cooperation. The IeDA project (Integrated e-Diagnostic Approach) improves the diagnosis and treatment of sick children between 0 and 5 years of age and enables health workers to comply with WHO guidelines.

The Balzan Foundation's international award which Tdh received last fall was a memorable moment. The prize for Humanity, Peace and Fraternity among Peoples, worth one million Swiss francs, supports the training project for midwives in Mali which seeks to prevent deaths among newborns and their mothers.

A total of 4.2 million children and members of their communities in 42 countries received assistance from Tdh and its partners last year. In addition to humanitarian aid, the child relief organisation focused primarily on health and child protection. Tdh has invested 95 million Swiss francs in local activities and projects. The total administrative costs amounted to 16 percent of the total volume of CHF 114 million.

At the time of the annual report's publication, Tdh is going through a difficult phase. At the end of the 2018 financial year, Tdh had recorded a deficit that was higher than expected. The reason for this is an incorrect estimation of the revenues. These financial difficulties are forcing Tdh to realign its activities and restructure the organisation. Saving measures, a reduction of the number of employees at the headquarters and the introduction of a new governance system will allow Tdh to continue its mission of helping children with confidence in the coming years.

More information on Terre des hommes' activities can be found in our annual report 2018:

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