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Justin Forsyth

Chief Executive, Save the Children

Justin started his career with Oxfam as a Policy Adviser on South Africa during the dying days of apartheid, a cause which had been close to his heart as an activist. At Oxfam he rose through the ranks and helped build campaigns on debt cancellation, Africa, Make Trade Fair and access to medicines. In 1995 Justin went out to Washington DC to set up Oxfam International, before returning in 1999 as Policy and Campaigns Director. He helped build Oxfam as a global campaigning force.

In 2004, Justin was recruited to Number 10 by Tony Blair where he led efforts on poverty and climate change and was one of the driving forces behind the Make Poverty History campaign. He was to stay on under Gordon Brown, becoming his 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.

Justin was appointed as Chief Executive of Save the Children in September 2010. As Chief Executive, Justin has increased the charity’s impact for children, increasing its income by over £50m per year since 2010, recruiting hundreds of thousands of new supporters, pioneering new innovative strategies for change from the humanitarian leadership academy to the No Child Born to Die campaign - enabling it to increase the number of children it reaches from 8m to 15.4m in recent years.

Britain Must Offer Refugee Children a Better Future

The UK has led the way in aid to the Syria region, and the government recently took the very welcome step of offering to take in 20,000 refugees living in camps in the Middle East. But we know that Britain can also reach out a hand to some of those who have already made the dangerous journey to Europe, those at-risk children who are on their own this winter. Like those dark days in 1938, children are leaving their homes today without their families because they fear for their lives. Britain can live up to the best of our history by offering them a better future.
05/01/2016 17:55 GMT

We Must Not Turn Our Backs on Refugees

As people gather in schools and churches around the country to hear the story of a Middle Eastern family with no place to stay, is there any better response to those who want a clash of civilisations than to say that even in difficult and dangerous times, we stand with the Syrian people, and that refugees are welcome here.
02/12/2015 17:56 GMT

Not Just a Piece of Paper

Last week in New York over 160 leaders from around the world signed an agreement that will shape all of our destinies and radically change the way we tackle poverty, inequality and climate change. In more than 25 years working in international development, this is perhaps the most pivotal moment I have had the privilege to be part of. A decade and a half after we ushered in a new era with the Millennium Development Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will come into force.
28/09/2015 17:49 BST

World Leaders Hold Syrians' Lives in the Balance

World leaders are gathering in Kuwait today to decide the fate of millions of people in Syria and the neighbouring countries. The Kuwait pledging conference, the third of its kind, will bring together the UN and donor governments to pledge money to help civilians caught up in the spiralling violence. They will need to be generous - as the war enters its fifth year, Syrians and their neighbours are increasingly unable to cope with this unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.
31/03/2015 08:37 BST

The Human Cost of Ebola

There is a big debate raging in all three countries on the lessons of what went wrong and what worked. We need to make a commitment to help these countries build a better future. This will take international support and solidarity.
03/02/2015 15:06 GMT

Peshawar Bombings: Every Child's Right to Education

Every child in every country should feel safe and secure in school. No right-minded person would disagree with such a simple, fair and just idea. But unfortunately the brutal attack in Pakistan is not a one off: schools are targeted in bloody conflicts across the world, from Syria to Nigeria. It must stop.
19/12/2014 18:24 GMT

Risking a Lost Generation in the Middle East

The psychological trauma inflicted when children lose their parents, see their homes destroyed, or experience torture, is not easily alleviated, particularly when they have to remain in the stressful and unfamiliar environment of a refugee camp. Save the Children's staff see the signs of this in places like Syria and Gaza, from night terrors and bed wetting to children who refuse to speak.
19/08/2014 18:15 BST

Central African Republic Teeters on the Brink of Catastrophe

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.
16/12/2013 19:38 GMT

Mobile Technology Starts to Ring the Changes in the Developing World

The world is at a tipping point in our battle to reduce child mortality and lift millions more children out of poverty. Never before have we witnessed such rapid progress in reducing child mortality. In 1990, 12 million children died before the age of 5; last year it was 6.9 million.
06/12/2012 17:43 GMT

Aid - A UK Success Story That the British Public Should Be Proud Of

No one is expecting today's Autumn Statement to bring much in the way of Christmas cheer. However, one good story is the remarkable progress of British aid and what it is achieving for the world's poorest children. A story that is seldom told. A story that the British public should be proud of.
05/12/2012 10:42 GMT

A Tale of Two Cities

We need a twin-pronged approach in Somalia. Continued humanitarian assistance for the poorest families, but also aid to help them plant crops again and rebuild their lives.
26/11/2012 18:15 GMT

Aid Under Attack

Recent newspaper coverage would suggest that British aid is being frittered away; squandered on undeserving countries and wasted. It is right that tough questions should be asked about how Britain gets value for its money, and it is spent in ways which help the poorest most. However, we cannot let all the progress that has been made and the potential that could be achieved be drowned out by claims that aid is ineffective, unnecessary or wasted. Because the bigger picture is that aid works. Aid that costs just a penny in every pound.
26/09/2012 08:33 BST

Sitan's Race Against Hunger

Eight-year-old Sitan was lying on a rattan mat outside her family's house shading herself from the baking midday sun. Years of malnutrition had left this eight-year-old looking more like a little girl of four. Worse, she could barely move and was virtually silent. She, like many millions of children across the developing world, has a condition called stunting. In layman's terms this means she didn't get enough nutritious food as young child and is now physically and possibly mentally less developed than she should be.
23/07/2012 16:08 BST

Shout of Africa

As the clouds gathered over the small village house in the Liberian bush early on Tuesday morning where John Humphrys was preparing to co-anchor the <em>Today</em> programme, little could he have known that a Twitter Storm was about to rain down on his head.
16/04/2012 11:13 BST

The Poorest Must Not Pay the Heaviest Price

Rachel works 22 hours a week in a pharmacy but after rent, bills and childcare she often has only £10 left for food and other household essentials for her and her two-year old son Luca. She skips her own meals to be able to give food to Luca, and is constantly worried about money. Rachel has been told she'd be better off on benefits, but she wants to work.
13/03/2012 09:54 GMT

The Fight Against Syphilis

The greatest tragedy is surely for a mother to bury her child. But imagine the grief of passing on a deadly disease to your child - and being powerless to stop it? An estimated one million babies die every year from congenital syphilis - deaths that could be prevented by just a single shot of penicillin.
01/03/2012 09:43 GMT

Hope and Heroes in Afghanistan

New data by the Afghan government says deaths have been cut dramatically, to one in 10 children from preventable illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhoea and one in 50 mothers from causes relating to pregnancy or child birth. This life-saving scene is part of a quiet revolution that is changing Afghanistan for the better.
14/02/2012 22:37 GMT

Why Borgen Mirrors Real Life Pressure on Governments to Cut Overseas Aid

A prime minister under pressure. A coalition government rebelling over whether money should be spent on a granddad at home or a 'bloke from Somalia' instead. A key finance bill is at stake. Deals are quickly made and unmade, alliances forged and broken, with an ever more pressing deadline that could see a premier fall... That was the dilemma at the heart of last week's <em>Borgen</em> - the Danish political thriller on BBC4.
23/01/2012 00:22 GMT