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Operational risks in 2013

Working closer to conflicts increases the risks to our projects and staff. To take our recalibrated strategy forward, War Child will need to build capacity to implement emergency programmes in highly insecure areas, including strengthening security and risk management.

Security incidents in 2013

War Child continuously monitors security risks, evaluates risk-minimising measures and adapts security plans to changes in risk profiles in countries and contexts in which War Child operates. All War Child’s country offices maintain close contact with local security networks to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and incidents. Periodically, the mobility of War Child staff is significantly hindered due to security risks.

The outbreak of violence in South Sudan in December 2013, forced War Child to temporarily suspend all of its activities. Local staff stayed home and expatriate staff was evacuated from the country. Originating as a political power struggle, the fighting divided the population along ethnic lines and led to thousands of casualties and tens of thousands of internally displaced people and refugees. Suspending activities meant that children participating in our projects missed out on psychosocial support and education activities, while facing increased risk of being exposed to conflict violence and recruitment. Expatriate staff were able to return to the country and project activities partially resumed in early 2014.

The security situation in the eastern part of DR Congo also remains precarious and can affect the accessibility of project areas at any time. In 2013, War Child’s project activities had to be suspended twice and staff evacuated from remote areas due to violent confrontations between armed groups and the Congolese army.

The security situation in Lebanon, particularly northern Lebanon, is also precarious and continues to deteriorate as a consequence of the war in Syria. Although field visits to War Child’s projects in northern Lebanon had to be suspended on several occasions, there was no major delay in project activities.

In Sudan travelling restrictions severely limited accessibility to project areas, making it impossible to reach the targeted number of children and young people.

Security in Afghanistan remains unstable and War Child maintains strict security practices there, including limited travelling, continuous monitoring and close contact with the Afghan NGO Security Office.

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