Annual Report and Accounts 2019-2020

A year of contrast

By working alongside community members and other partners, our initiatives increase incomes, create jobs, improve health, revitalise businesses, unlocking access to clean energy and sanitation services, and keep people safe from climate related weather events.

Climate change has already made the fundamentals of life more difficult to achieve for the world’s most vulnerable. Extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods and landslides, happen more often and are more serious. Meanwhile, slower onset changes to weather patterns are making traditional rural ways of life insupportable, forcing people to find work in cities, where they face uncertain futures.

COVID-19 has further amplified the underlying vulnerabilities that people face. From living conditions that make social distancing unmanageable to impossible choices between earning a wage or risking infection. Furthermore, there is a growing understanding that the pandemic is setting progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals into reverse.

Ingenious, community-powered projects, small scale and planet-friendly solutions – in these turbulent times, our unconventional approaches are more relevant than they’ve ever been.

A warm welcome from our Chief Executive, Paul Smith Lomas

At this time of reflection, I see much to celebrate. During the reporting period, there has been greater global recognition of the impact that climate change is having worldwide, especially on the world’s poorest people. At the same time, calls for systemic change have shifted from the margins to the mainstream. These are the issues we’ve been focusing on throughout our history and it’s reassuring to see them being recognised more widely.

The COVID-19 pandemic began to spread in early 2020. We took immediate action to help keep our staff and communities safe, which in some cases meant pausing our projects. Our staff have done an amazing job to quickly adapt our work where we could; for example,
by linking with communities and partners digitally and supporting efforts to prevent the spread of the virus in our project areas.

While we are weathering the storm better than many, the instability will continue and, with a global recession looming, we are concerned about income growth in the medium term. The uncertainty created by the pandemic unfolded against a backdrop of more anticipated challenges. There was significant political instability in Sudan and Bolivia. In Zimbabwe, the country’s economy collapsed. Meanwhile, Brexit dominated the UK political agenda.

Despite these challenges, I’m extremely proud of what we’ve achieved in the last three years and we face the future from a relevant and strong position.

In 2019-2020

We raised £36.1 million, spent £35 million on our work and 92p out of every £1 was spent on our programmes around the world.

We achieved all this…

We delivered

105 PROJECTS

on the ground in

12 COUNTRIES

working with

2m PEOPLE

directly

and

3.1m PEOPLE

indirectly

And so much more…

We provided technical and specialist expertise in a further

16 COUNTRIES

helped create

3,000 NEW JOBS

and, through our digital knowledge resources, helped

130,000 KNOWLEDGE-SEEKERS

improve their skills in

188 COUNTRIES

Summary of income and expenditure