Save The Children’s 100th anniversary, the growth of white supremacy, ‘leave no ambition behind’ in 2020

Posted on 30 April 2019

+ 100 Years of Save The Children
Save the Children was established on the 15th May 1919, and a recent conference in the UK examined the interplay between humanitarianism, politics and children's rights through the lens of the 100 year history of Save the Children UK. The aim of the conference was to understand the factors that had shaped Save the Children (UK) history, to gain a critical perspective of the present purpose and possible future directions of the organisation. 

Part of this process was about critical historical reflection on humanitarian practice, particularly in regards to trends, themes and specific 'reactionary moments' as a way to understand how values have shaped humanitarian principles and practise. Through deconstructing the historical assumptions, INGO leaders in attendance were looking to see what has been learnt, and to identify the effective balance between pragmatism and vision. While a recently published overview outlines that values must still come first.

To mark the centenary, Save the Children NZ is holding a photographic exhibition called Save the Children – 100 Years of Child Rights,  from 3rd - 26th May at the Wellington Museum. The exhibition will include a timeline of the work of Save the Children since it was founded in 1919, with photographs of projects around the world and work during emergencies.

Save the Children NZ's exhibition will feature photographs by Christchurch-based photographer Giora Dan of the education programme Save the Children runs in Daulatdia, Bangladesh, one of the largest brothels in the world. Heidi Coetzee, Chief Executive of Save the Children NZ said, “In 1997 we opened the first and only school for children from Daulatdia, where children get health care, meals, an education and lots of love from trained teachers. We now run a primary school and a pre-school, giving more than 700 children chance to escape the life of the brothel.

Save the Children NZ currently supports international programmes in Fiji, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Laos, Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand, and Mozambique. Areas of work include education and literacy, disaster risk reduction, and alleviating child poverty.

CID would like to congratulate our colleagues at Save the Children NZ on this milestone, and acknowledges the important and critical work they do to ensure children are safe, protected and have the opportunity to learn.
+ Foreign fighters and tragedy in Sri Lanka

“If anything positive comes out of the horror and bloodshed of the Easter attacks, it may be the dispelling of any illusion that an Islamic State in retreat is completely powerless,” writes Daniel Byman from the Brookings Institute.

All countries must be better prepared, he writes.

Early reports indicate that  many of those arrested in the follow-up sweep had fought in Syria.

"If Sri Lankan foreign fighters played a significant role in the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, it would be the largest killing by foreign fighters linked to the Islamic State ever, and the largest foreign fighter-linked attack since 9/11."

When individuals leave their homes and travel to a foreign war zone, they often change profoundly, especially after extensive training and access to networks to 'like-minded' people.

"The Sri Lankan attackers may have left their home with little animosity toward their Christian neighbors but learned to hate while abroad."

The issue of foreign fighters isn't just about radicalised Europeans travelling to war zones. 

"The Syria conflict produced a record number of jihadist foreign fighters—more than Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq after 2003 and other such conflicts combined."

"Nationals of more than 50 countries participated in the Syrian conflict alongside the Islamic State, with Trinidad sending over 100 (more than the United States) and the Maldives suffering one of the world’s highest per-capita rates."

+ The growth of white supremacism

As the attack in Christchurch has shown, no country is immune from terrorists attacks in the name of white supremacism either.

Dave Pell from Next Draft writes about the 'cascading terrorism' that can happen after an attack like the one in Christchurch, when one terrorist draws inspiration from prior acts.

WaPo's Jennifer Rubin writes on the weekend shooting at a synagogue  in California. Coddling white nationalists has deadly consequences

And as Trump stands by his Charlottesville remarks, the rise of white-nationalist violence becomes an issue in 2020 presidential races.

+ Talking of Trump  ....

Ivanca Trump landed in Ethiopia to promote the Trump administration’s $50 million Women’s Global Development and Prosperity initiative, funded through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

"But although this trip and first lady Melania Trump’s visit to Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Egypt last year are positive signs for U.S.-Africa relations, President Trump himself has yet to visit the continent," writes Landry Signe of the Brookings Institute. 

"The United States is quickly losing ground to China in particular, which increased its exports to Africa more than fivefold, to $90 billion, from 2005 to 2017, and whose exports to Africa reached a high of $150 billion in 2015."
+ 'Leave no ambition behind' - 2020 is crunch time for SDGs, Paris Agreement 

2020 is the world's 'year of delivery' - the Paris Agreement comes into force, the SDGs have a 5-year review and a new Convention on Biodiversity is agreed.

We are quickly approaching the deadline for 21 of the SDGs’ 169 targets, with 12 of them focused on biodiversity, and essential for the success of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The 2020 targets are a crucial test of the SDGs as an accountability mechanism. If targets are allowed to mature without any action to review or extend them, the 2030 Agenda could lose its political credibility and its ability to hold all actors accountable for their commitments.

To boost ambition and accelerate actions UN Secretary-General António Guterres will host the 2019 Climate Action Summit.

In the Global South, extreme weather events such as Syria’s prolonged drought, South Asia’s catastrophic monsoon floods, and Cyclone Idai in South-East Africa, the third deadliest cyclone on record, are becoming more likely and more severe.

These events are disproportionately bringing death, displacement, and crop failure. Projections estimate that the economies of poorer, warmer countries will be gravely harmed by climate change over coming decades, while the cooler, richer countries responsible for the vast majority of the extra CO2 in the air may even benefit in the short term. But as new research reveals, this is not just a future concern – the economic injustice of climate change has been playing out for 60 years.

From 1961 to 2010, rising temperatures cut the per-person gross domestic product of the world’s poorest countries by 17% to 31%, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That, in turn, widened the gap in economic output between poor and rich nations by 25% more than it would have been “in a world without global warming,” slowing an otherwise positive shift toward shrinking inequality over that half-century.

But, “There are limits to the extent to which human and natural systems can adapt,”a bloc of 47 least-developed countries warned. “People are already suffering from the devastation that climate change brings.”

In 2018, the human rights treaty bodies of the United Nations (UN) made an unprecedented number of recommendations to States concerning their legal obligations to protect people from the adverse impacts of climate change

With a focus on the Pacific, Newsroom reporter Laura Walters explains how climate change has become a sensitive topic for some of our Pacific neighbours. And, until recently, there has been talk of climate refugees, and special humanitarian visas, but Pacific leaders are telling New Zealand politicians they want to stay on their land and fight against climate change.
+ Tackling inequality key to this 'year of delivery'

Equality has long been recognised as underpinning healthy, decent and dignified lives. A growing body of evidence shows the links between equality and a healthy environment – and between inequality and environmental damage.

Oxfam has just released a briefing paper on the challenges of this interrelation between poverty and inequality, and identified 10 golden rules for donors to invest in aid so that they tackle inequality, and have a chance of meeting the SDGs.

+ A tool for collaboration?

This is a great tool to search UK charities working in the world - where they're working and what they're doing.

Thanks to Sharon Bell for sharing and suggesting that this would be great to have in New Zealand. We're working on it!

+ 'It's technology stupid'

"Income growth is the holy grail of development.

"At least that’s been the implicit view of much of the development community in recent history," writes Owen BarderLee Robinson and Euan Ritchie from the Centre for Global Development.

The importance of technology's contribution to improving lives has been underestimated. It's possible for a poorer country today with similar rates of poverty as a developed country in 1900, for example,  to have much better rates of infant mortality, thanks to advances in technology.

"Child mortality for the poorest country in the 2016 sample (which is the Central African Republic), was 123 per 1,000 born. Peru had roughly the same income in real terms in 1900, but its mortality rate then was 371—three times higher. The highest recorded mortality rate in 1900 was 537, for Chile, whereas the highest rate in 2016 was 127, for Chad.

"For all levels of income, the global poor in 2016 have much better life chances than their income peers of 1900. We have chosen child mortality, but this same story can be told on numerous other metrics of development."

+ What our Members are up to this week

International Needs NZ

Recently International Needs Humanitarian Aid Trust along with MFAT, partnered with International Needs Fiji to help with the ongoing Solo Mums programme in Suva. 

The Solo Mums programme reaches mothers from the informal settlements of Suva to provide them with vocational training skills over 15 weeks so that they can upskill and find work or sell products at the local markets through their own business enterprise.

Whilst the mothers are training three days per week, International Needs Fiji also run a day-care facility to help look after the children. The Day-care offers these children three meals per day, a safe place to learn and play as well as the ability to interact with other children in a secure facility.
With over 70% success rate for these mothers over the past four years, International Needs Fiji helps these mothers to generate their own self-sustaining income, to send their children to school and provide a better quality of life for themselves, their children and eventually their community.
As this new partnership grows and develops, we will continue to partner with International Needs Fiji to ensure the' locals know best' model is maintained.

Oxfam NZ exploring new Pacific project

Oxfam NZ will be leading a new scoping project to explore potential new partnerships with Pacific diaspora communities that may, in turn, enrich, inform and support projects taking place in the Pacific.

As part of this exploration, a Pacific Koloa Collective has been set up consisting of indigenous Pacific practitioners with development and humanitarian experience in the Pacific. This scoping project is led by Christine Nurminen, International Management Portfolio (Pacific). For more information about this project email

+ The CID Weekly is proudly sponsored by


Asia SDGs Environment Partnerships