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Last Updated 6th January 2024.

Before going further, we need to talk about why Child Protection is a bit different to other sectors. Unlike others, we are not going to spend much time discussing pre-2018 data. This is because Child Protection (along with Gender Based Violence, Mine Action, and Housing Land and Property) is a special case. Child Protection is not a designated global cluster, like many other sectors, but is an ‘Area of Responsibility‘ under the Protection sector. Hence historically, Child Protection funding was not separated from overall Protection funding in FTS.

As the Unprotected report outlines, and we’ll just quote in entirety here as it sums it up very well: “Since 2017, with the creation of a new FTS website, child protection is a category of its own on the FTS, making CP funding easily identifiable. Prior to 2017, CP interventions were simply reported under the Protection Sector”. Thus, the data from pre-2017 isn’t particularly reliable, and even the 2017 data doesn’t look reliable. 2017 has no funding requirement and $14m recorded as CP funding. This compares to a $163m funding requirement and $81m received in 2018.

Thus, the more reliable data from 2018 onwards reflects the emergence of Child Protection as a sector in itself, distinct from (but obviously still a part of) the Protection sphere. Consequently, from 2018 onwards, more and more contexts are starting to separate out Child Protection with a separate funding requirement in their response plans and appeals.

Therefore, we’ll mainly be talking about the time period from 2018 and onwards on this page.

How much funding is the Child Protection sector forecast to receive in 2023?

Funding to the Child Protection sector is forecast to be between $404m and $518m in 2023. Our central estimate is $448m. For reference, the Child Protection sector received $253m last year.

This forecast is based on our 95% probability range. In other words, we are 95% sure that funding will be between $404m and $518m. Below are the other forecast ranges for the Child Protection sector. As we become less sure about our forecast, the range narrows. So for example, we think there’s a 50% probability that funding will be between $429m and $471m in 2023.

But we need to put this into context. What does the forecast mean in terms of reaching the funding that is required for the sector (also known as the funding requirement)? The total funding requirement globally is determined by how much is needed in each context. If you hover over the donut below you’ll be able to see the chances of reaching 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the funding that is required.

We think that it’s almost certain that the Child Protection sector will reach 25% of their funding requirement in 2022, but there is only a remote chance of reaching 50%. For reference, at the time of writing, Child Protection received only 26% of the funding required last year.

How does the 2023 forecast compare to previous years?

Child Protection is forecast to receive (yet again) more than it has in previous years. Since 2018, the funding to Child Protection has increased from $81m in 2018, to $259m in 2022. The central estimate for 2023 is $448m.

At the same time, the funding requirement for Child Protection has increased rapidly from $163m in 2018, to $1.3bn in 2023.

One factor behind increasing Child Protection funding may be that more funding is being tagged as Child Protection, instead of being tagged as simply ‘Protection’. The Unprotected report noted that 28% of the estimated Child Protection funding in 2018 was found under ‘Protection’ and not ‘Child Protection’.

Since 2018, both funding received and the funding requirement have increased year-on-year. Whilst an increase in funding is great in terms of more funding towards the sector, one key question is: what is growing faster, the funding received or the funding requirement?

Unfortunately, the growth in the funding requirement (for both the reasons listed above around Child Protection becoming more prominent in the data, and the general increase in funding requirements across the secctor) has meant that funding requirements have grown quicker than funding received.

What this means is that there is a year-on-year increase in the funding gap in absolute terms. The funding gap in 2018 stood at $83m, but by 2022 the funding gap had widened to $741m.

In this story, we’ve defined a real humanitarian recession as two consecutive years of a growing funding gap. Child Protection closed the funding gap in 2022. So what are the odds of Child Protection continuing to grow and staying away from a humanitarian recession?

We think that it’s almost certain that Child Protection will experience ‘real growth’ in 2022 this year. Given that Child Protection has received only 26% of the funding requirement last year, this is great for the sector – despite the admittedly low base.

How does the 2023 forecast compare to other sectors?

The central estimate of $448m puts Child Protection 11th in the sector rankings. This would put Child Protection just ahead of the other AoRs (Gender Based Violence and Mine Action), but unsurprisingly still some way behind Protection which is forecasted in 7th place at $1.5bn.

Features of the Child Protection sector in 2022

The average Child Protection response in 2022 was 22% funded. This is obviously quite low in absolute terms but ranks around average when looking at all sectors (the median sector average is 25%).

One clear funding success story in 2021 is that of three plans: the Madagascar Flash Appeal, the Pakistan plan, and the Guatemala HRP, which received 228%, 178% and 169% of what was required, respectively. Other relative success stories include four other plans that received over 50% of the funding requirement. These were: Malawi (78% funded), Myanmar (61%), CAR (55%), and Ukraine (53%)

Yet, at the same time, most contexts for Child Protection received less than 25% of the requirement. 6 of the 39 plans with Child Protection funding required reported receiving less than 10% of funding. This begs the question: why are some contexts more funded than others? Is it just year-on-year variation, donor preferences, underreporting, or something else? We’ll explore this in more detail in the future in our Stories section. We’re also currently working on an “Equity Index” to measure the extent to which a sector is unequal – stay tuned!

Child protection is a moderately concentrated sector in terms of funding sources. Like other sectors, the US Government was the largest donor in 2022, bringing in $91m to Child Protection (a substantial increase compared to 2021). This is followed by Save the Children (20%), the Government of Germany, and ECHO. Beyond the top four donors, who contribute nearly three-quartesr of all funding (73%), another 50 smaller sources of funding make up the remainder.

The Herfindahl Hirschman Index measures the extent to which a market is concentrated, with a value between 1,500 and 2,500 meaning that the market is moderately concentrated. The HHI value of the Child Protection sector is 1,810 based on the sources of funding to the sector.

Two actors dominate in terms of receiving Child Protection funding: UNICEF (31%) and Save the Children (31%). A variety of other INGOs and UN agencies also receive substanital amounts of funding, such as UNHCR, Plan International and IRC. A quick peruse of other sector pages shows that it is not necessarily uncommon for UN agencies, and in this case international NGOs, to vacuum up funding. Yet, in reality, there will undoubtedly be ‘second tier’ recipients of this funding from UNICEF and Save the Children, and funding through alternative channels may not be captured here.


The usual health warning: FTS doesn’t capture everything. It is a platform that relies on voluntary reporting by organisations. But it is the most comprehensive source of data for humanitarian funding.

For forecast methodology, click here. We’ll be keeping a record of all our forecasts and success over time, which you can find here.

To find out methodology and sources for other things on this page which aren’t the forecast, click here.

Note: Numbers in ‘The current state of things’ graph may differ from elsewhere on the page as the data was extracted on a different date (8th July 2023) than other numbers that also show how much was received (i.e. the column chart).