Thank you to those who have contacted me about the protection of children in crises and conflict zones.
I share your concerns about the millions of children across the world who are subjected to violence. Protecting children in conflict remains a priority for the UK. The Government is committed to spending 50 per cent of our aid budget in fragile and conflict affected states, where children are among the first to suffer.
DFID works with international partners to help children and reduce the risks of violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. This includes working with protection agencies such as the ICRC, UNHCR and UNICEF, as well as international NGOs with a focus on advocating for children. For example, DFID has committed £10 million to UNICEF over the three years to 2020 to prevent and respond to violence and exploitation of children on the move in Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan.
The UK is the largest donor to the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, which is driving international progress on the issue, and the largest founding donor to the Education Cannot Wait fund, a global fund for education in emergencies. The fund has raised $90 million to date – including £30 million from the UK – and expects to reach 4.5 million children over the next two years.
The UK will continue to lead the way on tackling violence and exploitation of children, particularly in conflict and crises. In a changing world, we not only need to respond to emerging threats and deliver humanitarian assistance, but also prevent these crises from occurring: the UK aid budget helps build better systems and societies for the children of the future.