War Child maintains a risk monitoring and evaluation system, which enables the anticipation and effective management of risks. It contains an overview of potential risks, assesses the probability that they will occur, and evaluates their impact on War Child. A risk assessment is done twice a year by the Management Team and the controller. Where relevant, measures to mitigate identified risks are taken.
War Child works in insecure areas. The safety and security of staff is of great importance. In 2012, War Child updated its security procedures. Also, refresher trainings were organised for the security team at head office and staff members who regularly travel abroad. War Child’s basic IT-infrastructure was upgraded and the hosting of servers was outsourced to improve security. Fraud, corruption and reputation risks are closely monitored by War Child. Measures to mitigate these risks are in place and no significant incidents occurred in 2012. Concerning child safety, two incidents were reported in 2012, one through our Colombia programme and one in our DR Congo programme.
Furthermore, War Child reconsidered the desired size of its financial reserve for unforeseen funding gaps. The continuity reserve financially covers War Child’s short-term risks and makes sure War Child can fulfil its future obligations.
Main risks in 2012
War Child continuously monitoring security measures and keeps close contact with local security networks. However, from time to time, mobility of staff is significantly hindered for security reasons:
- In Lebanon the security situation deteriorated, which hindered the mobility of War Child’s staff. The security situation was affected by spill over from the Syrian crisis. Field visits to northern Lebanon were often too dangerous, which resulted in some delays in project activities.
- Security in the eastern part of DR Congo remains precarious and can affect the accessibility of project areas at any time. As a result of armed conflict close to War Child’s project locations, War Child staff was evacuated for one week.
- In Sudan three grants from the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) allocated to War Child’s Kosti and Khartoum projects had to be partly returned and/or renegotiated due to new government policies. The change in policy resulted in the closure of the Kosti Way Station in April and the Khartoum field location in May, rendering it impossible to reach the targeted number of children and young people.
- In South Sudan the security situation remained unstable, with both political unrest and violence in the border areas.
- Security in Afghanistan remains unstable. The level of War Child’s security measures stays high, with continuous monitoring and close contact with the Afghan NGO Security Office.
- In Sri Lanka the external environment remained sensitive and restrictions to NGO operations led to delays in programme delivery.
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