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Justin Forsyth

I am the Chief Executive of Save the Children. I started my career with Oxfam as a policy adviser on southern Africa, a cause which has been close to my heart. I spent 15 years at Oxfam, rising through the ranks. In 1995 I went to Washington DC to set up Oxfam International, before returning in 1999 as Policy Director. In the early 2000s, I added campaigning and communications to my responsibilities and worked to build Oxfam as a global force. In 2004, I was recruited to No.10 by Tony Blair where I led efforts on poverty and climate change and was one of the driving forces behind the Make Poverty History campaign. I became Gordon Brown's strategic communications and campaigns director, helping to use new communications strategies to reach the British public on a range of issues from knife crime to climate change. I joined Save the Children to help save and transform the lives of millions of children through our life-saving work and to ensure that every child has a chance to fulfill their potential.


Sierra Leone: a treatment centre for a country stricken by Ebola

Wednesday 5 November 2014 by Justin Forsyth

Our CEO Justin Forsyth writes about his visit to Kerry Town, Sierra Leone, where Save the Children today opens an 80-bed treatment centre to tackle Ebola.

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Gaza/Israel: children are never our enemy

Monday 1 September 2014 by Justin Forsyth

This article was written as a response to Tim Montgomerie’s article, You Don’t Save Children By Arming Terrorists, in The Times on 27 August but The Times chose not to run it so we are publishing it online ourselves to set the record straight. Instead, The Times have taken a shorter letter published today.

Eglantyne Jebb founded the Save the Children Fund nearly 100 years ago to help children starving in Germany and Austria as a result of the post-war blockade.

She did so not out of political posturing, propaganda or campaigning but to protect thousands of innocent children and to stand up for their rights: the foundations of everything Save the Children stands for and does today. She was, as we were last week on Gaza, criticised in The Times for supporting the children of our enemy.

She retorted that children are never our enemy.

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Risking a lost generation in the Middle East

Wednesday 20 August 2014 by Justin Forsyth

Across the Middle East, aid agencies are responding to an unprecedented number of deeply distressing humanitarian emergencies. At times it feels overwhelming for our teams on the ground. From Syria to Gaza and Iraq, some 11million people have been forced to flee their homes, because of conflict and urgently need help. The impact of these crises is felt most of all by those children. They are born into situations they cannot control, yet they bear the brunt of war, displacement, and social and economic turmoil. If we do not act to stem the crisis and ensure children are able to continue their lives and education, we run the risk of losing a generation of children.

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Rwanda: After the genocide 20 years ago, we said ‘never again’. Did we mean it?

Monday 7 April 2014 by Justin Forsyth

Two decades ago, the world watched in horror as Rwanda was pulled apart by a brutal genocide. The international community, burned by a failed intervention in Somalia and distracted by events elsewhere, failed to intervene to stop the killing.

Led by the US and supported by Britain, the UN Security Council refused to deploy a stronger peacekeeping force. By the time it was galvanised into action, an estimated 800,000 people were dead.

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Central African Republic: The world must act decisively to avert a catastrophe

Tuesday 17 December 2013 by Justin Forsyth

I have just returned from a week in the Central African Republic (CAR). I was shocked by what I witnessed. Dead bodies littering the streets. Children shot and injured in the fighting. Hundreds of thousands of families driven into the bush by fear, living out in the open with no food or shelter. In the capital, thousands huddled around a monastery frightened for their lives. I will never forget the fear in the eyes of the children I met.

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Italy: The boats are unsafe – but frightened refugees still get on

Thursday 24 October 2013 by Justin Forsyth

The sinking of a migrant boat off Lampedusa earlier this month may have shocked the world, but it won’t have surprised the refugees who have already made the dangerous sea-voyage between north Africa and Europe. Those who survive the journey tell stories of fearing the worst when they see the state of the boats; some speak of bailing out water before they’ve even got moving.

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Major announcements boost the last stretch of the health Millennium Development Goals

Tuesday 24 September 2013 by Justin Forsyth

We often question whether big international meetings achieve enough to justify the expense and trouble. But the news yesterday from New York suggests that, at the very least, global meetings create peer pressure on donors and a real sense of urgency.

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Syria: children targeted because ‘they are the future’

Friday 13 September 2013 by Justin Forsyth

It is not until you speak to the children that the true horror is brought home. Youngsters who have borne witness to atrocities no one should ever see tell of the suffering and brutal reality of the war in Syria. Stories like that of 13 year-old Majed who talked about how a machine gun mounted on a tank shot 15 people on the street where he stood. He explained to me how he saw his best friend die on the way to a funeral after he was shot in the back, describing how the bullet came through his tummy and how the hole it left couldn’t be covered with both his hands.

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Eglantyne Jebb: a true children’s champion

Sunday 25 August 2013 by Justin Forsyth

Today marks the birthday of the founder of Save the Children, Eglantyne Jebb.

You might not recognise her name. But this remarkable Edwardian woman’s vision of a better world for children still resonates powerfully today.

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Ask the children if foreign aid works

Thursday 8 August 2013 by Justin Forsyth

If you based your judgment of British aid on this week’s headlines, you’d be forgiven for thinking things were a bit of a mess. You’d imagine well-heeled charity executives pocketing large salaries while, in the racist words of the MEP Godfrey Bloom, billions of pounds are sent to “Bongo-Bongo Land”, where they pay for expensive sunglasses and sports cars. You’d probably wonder whether our charities are worth supporting, or if the Government is spending your money sensibly. And you’d have good reason to, if it were true. It isn’t.

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