Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)SCF/OP
TitleOverseas Programmes
Extent819 boxes and oversized material
Datec 1921-2010
DescriptionContains material regarding Save the Children Fund's (SCF) overseas programmes and projects, including a large sequence of country programme files composed of correspondence, reports, papers, publications and photographs documenting the administrative process of managing SCF's projects both in individual countries and regionally. Also includes series of published material, reference files, bulletins and maps by SCF, and external reference material, regarding country and regional operations.

Additional papers, many deriving from the Overseas Department and its various incarnations, cover management meetings, finances, policy issues and strategy, and staff. There is also a small a series of Director General's papers regarding overseas programmes and visits.

Material reflects SCF's wide-ranging work abroad including projects concerning humanitarian relief, health, child rights, education and the environment. Large sequences of material document SCF's work in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Sudan and Vietnam.
Access ConditionsThere are files in this series which have been closed for 25 years in accordance with Save the Children's policy.
There are files and items in this series which contain personal information covered by Data Protection regulations. These files and items have an extended closure period.
Further information about the closures can be found in the relevant file level catalogue description.
Access StatusPartially closed
Closed Until01/01/2105
Administrative History[Taken from the SCF Archives Guide by SCF archivist Rodney Breen, c 1995]
The Overseas work of SCF was administered, for the most part, by the relevant committee. On its foundation in February 1942 this was known as the Post-War Committee; in April 1944 it changed its name to the Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Committee. It seems to have been in abeyance froorm January 1945 until March 1948, when it was reformed as the Foreign Relief Committee. In October 1962 this became known as the Overseas Relief and Welfare Committee, and from September 1966 as the Overseas Committee. It changed its nature to a mainly advisory role in April 1986, and thus became known as the Overseas Advisory Committee

Although Save The Children worked overseas from its foundation in 1919, there was no separate Overseas division until World War II. At that time, due to the problems created by war, almost all SCF income was being spent on projects in the United Kingdom. By 1942, however, it wa becoming clear that the Allies were likely to win the war, and SCF began to anticipate the likely needs of children in occupied Europe once the war was over. The Post-War Committee was set up in February 1942 and a report, 'Children in Bondage' was published in 1943, with surveys of the nutritional needs of children in European countries. In April 1944 the Post-War Committee changed its name to the Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Committee. SCF took a leading part on the formation of COBSRA, the Council of British Societies for Relief Abroad. Before the war ended, SCF teams had already gone into formerly occupied territories, including Greece and France, and in the immediate post-war period SCF did extensive relief work in various countries. Among the main recipients of aid were children of refugees, concentration camp survivors and displaced persons in Germany and Austria. By the late 1940s, the need for this sort of emergency work had died down, and SCF was looking to pick up the work they had been running in pre-war Europe. Most of this work, however, was concentrated in Eastern Europe, in countries which were adopting Communist systems which looked to State provision rather rather than the voluntary sector for the organisation of welfare. Thus projects in Yugoslavia and Hungary had to be handed over to the authorities there, and only occasional disaster relief work was allowed for many years until the collapse of Communists in the late 1980s.

As the work of SCF moved awary from Europe - work on a major scale continued to be carried out for many years in Italy and Greece - the focus of the work shifted, as Eglantyne Jebb had many years previously insisted it should, to Asia and later Africa. In 1948 in Malaya, 1950 in the Sudan, and 1951 in Somaliland, SCF began aid projects. These three countries were still under colonial administration at the time. Two major events in the 1950s shifted attention away from the Commonwealth: the Korean War that stared in 1950, and the Hungarian refugee crisis in 1956. Both of these involved considerable work on the part of SCF, and both were major causes of increased income. Korea remained the largest single recipient of SCF aid for many years. During the 1950s, the bulk of SCF's money was being spent in Asia and Europe. With the beginning of the Freedom from Hunger campaign in 1960, the focus shifted again, to the poorest countries in the world, in Africa and South-East Asia. During the 1960s the focus shifted again, to the poorest countries in the world, in Africa and Southeast Asia. During the 1960s, spending on Africa, which was negligible at the beginning of the decade, became in 1970 at the height of the Nigerian civil war, the largest single commitment of SCF money. At the same time, the process of decolonisaiton was beginning, and SCF had little difficulty in working with the new independent governments. In the 1970s, cyclones in Bangladesh and famine in Ethiopia attracted world attention - and huge increases in donations - and SCF work in these areas became some of the most important projects SCF undertook. Disasters in Central America brought SCF to work there also. In the 1980s, famines in Uganda in 1980 and Ethiopia and Sudan in 1984/85 again increased both public awareness and the flow of donations. By the beginning of the 1990s, SCF was operating on a hugely increased scale in comparison with what had gone before - the annual income of £52 million in 1990 represented in real terms three times that of 1980.


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