HelpAge International

Annual review 2015

Global ageing illustration
Currently 12% of women and men are aged 60 or over. By 2050 this will increase to over 21%.

Looking forward

Welcome to our 2015 Annual review. We are so proud of what the?HelpAge global network has achieved over the past year.
Toby PorterWe worked hard to ensure that ageing and older women and men were included in the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN in September. Our lobbying paid off and older people are included directly or by implication in 15 of the 17 goals. This significant achievement reinforces our position that human rights do not diminish with age.

We are pleased to report a record income of £29.1 million, a sign that governments and other agencies are responding to our influence and recognising that we deliver high-quality, good value programmes.

We would like to say heartfelt thanks to all our staff, donors, network members, partners and the older people we work with for helping us to exceed the majority of the targets we set ourselves five years ago.

We now look forward to our new five-year strategy to 2020, summed up by the four statements illustrated on the poster overleaf. With the proportion of people over 60 projected to grow in almost every country in the world, our work towards a world in which everyone can lead dignified, healthy and secure lives whatever their age is more important than ever.

Finally, I would like sincerely thank Cindy Cox Roman, our hugely generous and energetic Chair, who was succeeded by Arun Maira in November 2015.

Cynthia Cox RomanThere is much to celebrate in HelpAge International's achievements and impact over the past year. We directly reached 850,000 of the world's poorest or most vulnerable older people and their families with essential services such as healthcare, income generation, and emergency response. We worked in close partnership with more than 6,350 older people's associations active in their own communities.

We saved lives and brought comfort and material assistance to women and men caught up in truly terrible situations in their later years, particularly around Syria and in Ukraine and South Sudan. It is the courage and commitment of our staff and partners that allows us to make a difference in these incredibly challenging situations.

I am leaving an organisation that I genuinely believe is altering how the world regards and treats older people.

Ageing facts

Click to see larger infographic
In low- and middle-income countries, only 1 in 4 people above pensionable age receives a pension.

Source: ILO, 2014

Click to see larger infographic
60% of people aged over 60 in low- and middle-income countries said they were unable to access health services because they could not afford the visit.

Source: WHO World Report on Health and Ageing, 2015

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Globally, over 22% of women aged 65-69 have experienced physical or sexual abuse by a partner. In low- and middle-income countries in Africa, this ?gure is over 38%.

Source: WHO Global Health Observatory, 2010 (Accessed 7 Dec 2015)

Click to see larger infographic
By 2050, more than 1 in 5 people in the world will be 60+.

Source: UNDESA Population Division, World population prospects: the 2015 revision, DVD Edition, 2015

What would it take to make a better world for older people?

For the launch of our Global AgeWatch Index 2015 we asked older people around the world what they think it would take to make their country better for older people. Watch our film to hear what they had to say.

Our achievements

Through our work:


of the world's poorest or most vulnerable older people received essential services.


older people's associations were active in their own communities.


governments delivered better pensions, benefits and livelihoods programmes for older people.

1.4 million

older people accessed health, HIV and care services in 29 countries.


activists took part in Age Demands Action campaigns.


signed our petition for a UN convention on the rights of older people.


countries were ranked according to the social and economic wellbeing of older people in our Global AgeWatch Index.

Our influence

Our ambitious policy and advocacy work with international agencies, governments and civil society is helping to shape the future for older people.

The Sustainable Development Goals and Post-2015 Development Agenda promise to leave no one behind and we worked hard throughout the year to ensure that ageing and older people were included.

We are particularly proud that Goal 3 commits to ensuring healthy lives and promoting wellbeing for all at all ages.

We campaigned with partners and governments to call for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older People. We believe this is the most effective way to ensure that we all enjoy our human rights as we age.

Our impact

In humanitarian crises, older people are among those most at risk. We helped over 250,000 people rebuild their lives.
Our support to older people's associations helped almost 100,000 older people improve their income.
Juliana's home was destroyed in a landslide in Cauca, Colombia. In 2014, HelpAge, together with the local community, constructed temporary houses for her and 23 families, a welcome improvement after months of living in tents.
"I'm very happy with my house. After the landslide I thought I had lost everything. Now I have hope that things will be back to normal again."
Laboke has resettled with his family in northern Uganda after eight years in a displaced people's camp. A loan from his older people's group, supported by HelpAge's partner Caritas, has enabled him to earn an income.

"I didn't hesitate to borrow from my village savings and loan association to grow and sell vegetables. I bought eggplant seedlings which I planted in half a hectare. I sell dried and fresh eggplants as well as keeping some for the family to eat."
"It gives me a lot of joy, because I am busy making money and have been able to pay the tuition fees for my two sons from my earnings."

Our partnerships

We are stronger together. Around the world, 113 organisations in 75 countries are now affiliated to the HelpAge global network. Natasa Todorovic from the Red Cross of Serbia explains the benefits.

Founded in 1876, the Red Cross of Serbia is the biggest and oldest humanitarian organisation in Serbia. In 2014 we became a member of the HelpAge network, after working with HelpAge since 2001 and running the Serbian Age Demands Action campaign since 2008. With HelpAge's support we can influence policy changes and promote older people's welfare, not just at home, but internationally too.

We support vulnerable older people with health services, transport and social clubs. Older people make up 20% of our 60,000 volunteers.

Since 2011 we have been setting up self-help groups to promote active ageing and provide a platform for older people to articulate their problems, work on the solutions, and build solidarity with each other and between generations.

HelpAge provides us with expertise and knowledge and encourages us to develop new approaches. Being part of a global movement gives us more credibility and exposure at national level. The older people we work with are proud to be part of a global initiative.

"The older people we work with are proud to be part of a global initiative."
Older people supporting HelpAge

Our network members

Our partners and members are crucial to our success. There are 113 organisations in 75 countries affiliated to HelpAge International, forming a global network standing up for the rights of older people.
  • Rift Valley Children and Women Development Organisation (RCWDO), Ethiopia
  • Sawaka-Karagwe (SAWAKA), Tanzania
  • Senior Citizens’ Council, Mauritius
  • Sierra Leone Society for the Welfare of the Aged
  • South Sudan Older People’s Organisation (SSOPO)
  • Sudanese Society for the Care of Older People (SSCOP) Tanzania
  • Mission to the Poor and Disabled (PADI) Uganda
  • Reach the Aged Association (URAA)

  • HelpAge Barbados
  • HelpAge Belize
  • HelpAge St Lucia
  • Instituto para el Desarrollo de la Pesca y Mineria (IPEMIN), Peru
  • National Foundation for Blind Care, Suriname
  • Old People’s Welfare Association (OPWA), Montserrat
  • Peru Coordinating Group for Older People (Mesa de Trabajo)
  • Pro Vida Bolivia
  • Pro Vida Colombia
  • Pro Vida Perú
  • Reaching Elderly Abandoned Citizens Housebound (REACH), Dominica
  • Red de Programas para el Adulto Mayor, Chile
  • Society of St Vincent de Paul, Antigua
  • St Catherine Community Development Agency (SACDA), Jamaica
  • Sumaj Punchay, Bolivia

Our finances

Our income in the year ending 31 March 2015 was £29.1 million, with large contributions from Age International, UKaid from the UK government (DFID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, European Commission, UN agencies, USAID, Irish Aid, HelpAge Deutschland and HelpAge USA.

Thank you to our donors

We are grateful to the many institutions and individuals who have supported our work, particularly the following major donors:
  • AARP
  • Aktion Deutchland
  • Age International
  • AWO
  • Conrad Hilton
  • Cordaid
  • Darfur
  • Echo
  • European Commission
  • German BMZ
  • German Foreign Office
  • HelpAge Germany
  • HelpAge Korea
  • HelpAge USA
  • Irish Aid
  • Johanniter
  • JOAC
  • Kadoorie
  • LIFT
  • Margaret A Cargill
  • Metcalf
  • NAK
  • Netherlands Embassey
  • OCHA
  • Pfizer
  • Sida
  • Stanley Thomas Johnson
  • UNDP
  • US Dept of State
  • World Diabetes Foundation

  • AARP
  • Age International
  • Aktion Deutschland Hilft (ADH)
  • AWO International
  • Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (US State Government)
  • British Red Cross
  • Caritas International
  • Comitato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo dei Popoli (CISP)
  • Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF)
  • Cordaid
  • Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund (DCPSF)
  • Die Johanniter/ Johanniter-Auslandshilfe
  • ECHO
  • Emergency Response Fund (ERF) – Colombia
  • European Commission
  • Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • Federal Republic of Germany – Foreign Office
  • FK Norway
  • HelpAge Canada
  • HelpAge Deutschland e.V
  • HelpAge Espa?a
  • HelpAge Korea
  • HelpAge USA
  • Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
  • Irish Aid
  • Jersey Overseas Aid Commission (JOAC)
  • Kadoorie Charitable Foundation
  • Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)
  • Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT)
  • Margaret A. Cargill Foundation
  • Mercy Corps
  • Metlife Foundation
  • NAK Foundation
  • Pfizer
  • Refugees International Japan (RIJ)
  • South African Development Community (SADC)
  • Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
  • Swiss Red Cross
  • The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • The World Diabetes Foundation
  • Trocaire
  • UK Department for International Development (UKaid)
  • UNDP
  • US Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • WorldGranny

Our board of trustees

  • Cynthia Cox Roman (USA), Chair (until November 2015)
  • Arun Maira (India), Chair (from November 2015)
  • Isabella Aboderin (Kenya)
  • David Causer (UK), Vice Chair
  • Mathew Cherian (India)
  • Pham Hoai Giang (Vietnam)
  • Cho Hyunse (South Korea)
  • John Kingston (UK)
  • Laura Machado (Brazil)
  • Sola Mahoney (South Africa)
  • Sanja Miloradovic (Serbia)
  • Du Peng (China)
  • Michael Wade (UK)
  • John Jack Watters (USA) (died June 2015)
Chief Executive Officer
  • Toby Porter

HelpAge International

  • PO Box 70156
  • London WC1A 9GB, UK
  • Registered charity no. 288180
  • Company limited by guarantee
  • Registered in England no. 1762840
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