Maria, aged 83, from Mozambique is a beneficiary of the work of our local partner organisation. Here seen smiling, working with fabric.

Older people’s rights in a changing world

Annual report 2022/23

We are here to make sure every older person, everywhere, can lead a healthy, dignified and secure life. This report highlights our actions and progress from April 2022 to March 2023.

A letter from the Chair and CEO

If the year from 2022 to 2023 stood out for anything, it was the number of crises that erupted across the world. Some of these were the 28 humanitarian crises that we responded to.

Read the whole letter
Arun Maira portrait photo, Photo credit: Mohammed Barasneh/HelpAge International
Arun Maira
Chair of Trustees
Justin Derbyshire portrait photo, Photo credit: Karen Hatch/HelpAge International
Justin Derbyshire
Chief Executive Officer

Our year in numbers

Funded activities by more than
partners and network members around the world
More than
accessed health and care through our interventions
older people helped by our humanitarian work
Older People’s Associations supported
older people
Older woman sitting alongside other elderly people in their outdoor clothes
In Pakistan, HelpAge’s partner Community Development Foundation is supporting older people in the devastating floods that wiped out villages and livestock in 2022. © Usman Ghani / HelpAge International

In 2022/23 we focused on seven main thematic areas, to ensure we protected the wellbeing, dignity and rights of the older people we work with.

Inclusive humanitarian action

Elderly man talks to rescue worker in uniform
Adnan, 65, helped the rescue teams to find families trapped under the rubble after the devastating earthquake in Syria. © TrendX / HelpAge International

The proportion of people aged 50 and over in countries where conflict and disasters are more likely to occur is expected to more than double from 220 million in 2020 to 586 million by 2050. Older people are disproportionately affected by humanitarian crises, and yet they are often invisible in the response, sidelined and overlooked in favour of more visible groups. We are determined to work towards an inclusive and fair humanitarian support system, one that consults, includes and centres older people and takes accounts of their specific needs. 

Snapshot of inclusive humanitarian action

  • 659k
    older people reached with humanitarian assistance
  • 28
    emergencies responded to across 23 countries

Find out more

War in Ukraine

Portrait of mature couple
Nataliia, 65, fled the war together with her husband Mykola, 64. Volunteers who helped them find shelter inspired them to volunteer to support other older people. © Dmytro Maksymenko / HelpAge International 

The conflict in Ukraine has been described as the ‘oldest’ humanitarian crisis in the world, with 8.9 million people, or 24 per cent of the pre-war population, aged 60 and over. We have been operating in eastern Ukraine since 2014, and our established network of volunteers – some of them older themselves – was a vital component of our response. To help us respond quickly and effectively from the start of the war, we started a Regional Humanitarian Assistance Programme covering Moldova, Poland and Ukraine. In the course of 2022, we helped thousands of people both within Ukraine and in the wider region with practical and psychological support.

Snapshot of war in Ukraine

  • 46.5k
    older people supported across Ukraine
  • 10k
    older people provided with home-based care
  • 2.5k
    older people received psychosocial support in the Donbas
  • 10.5k
    refugees in Moldova provided with three hot meals a day
  • 39k
    displaced people received food kits
  • 4.5k
    older people received cash assistance
  • 1.5k
    older people regularly visited community safe spaces

Find out more

Healthy ageing

Purrificacao Jose next to three pigs that eat out of a bowl
Twice devastated by the drought in Kenya, Arbe, 74, not only lost her livestock but also battled illness. © Steve Okumu / HelpAge International

We are living longer – by 2030, 1.4 billion people around the world will be aged 60 or over. This is positive. But for many older people in low- and middle-income countries, it brings fear and insecurity. Societal values coupled with weak employment, justice systems, social protection and health and care systems for older people are putting their lives and well-being at risk. We work with network members and partners to promote healthy ageing, maximising everyone’s ability to live healthy and valued lives while contributing to society as long as they can. We aim to reach the furthest behind first, so that everyone, everywhere is able to get the health and care
services they need, regardless of age.

Snapshot of healthy ageing

  • 2.4m
    people able to access health and care services:
  • 30
    across 30 countries
  • 500k
    older people vaccinated against Covid-19 through our programmes
  • 14.3k
    people living with a disability can now access care

Find out more

Income security

Portrait of older man looking into camera
Mohammed, 72, from Tanzania, learned about budgeting and about investing in new small businesses throught the AFFORD programme. © Michael Goima / Fairpicture / HelpAge International 

Around the world, a combination of discrimination and ageism can leave many older people excluded from employment and work opportunities, financial services, skills development and employment generation schemes. We are working to make sure governments put systems in place that protect and promote sustainable incomes to enable us to live a good quality of life as we get older.

Snapshot of income security

  • 2.2m
    older people received a social pension or improved financial support for the first time as a result of our work:
  • 8
    across 8 countries
  • 1.3m
    were older women
  • 263k
    were people with disabilities

Find out more

A society for all ages

Older Sikh man with yellow tubran and younger woman
Intergenerational groups in Kyrgyzstan bridge the gap between old and young. © Chingiz Namazaliev / HelpAge International

We believe that every older person is a valued member of society who has the right, whatever their needs, to participate in their families, communities and society, based on what is important to them. That’s why we want to achieve a world where we are all treated fairly and without discrimination in older age. Promoting a society for all ages ensures that older people can feel connected and participate in life in the way that they choose.

Snapshot of a society for all ages

  • 14.9k
    older people’s groups supported
  • 2.3k
    new older people’s groups set up
  • 2.2m
    group members engaged in improving life for older people
  • 906k
    older people participating in influencing and advocacy initiatives to addressage discrimination and ageism

Find out more

Rights and inclusion

Nepalese older lady raising her hand and smiling
Older people have the right to choose how they live. © Juan Camilo Gonzalez, Santos Studio / HelpAge International

We all want to live in a world where we have the right to be treated with fairness and respect, and where we can make decisions about our lives, no matter our age. International human rights systems and national laws are failing to address ageism and age discrimination and protect our rights in older age. We believe older people must be part of the discussion on their human rights. We work with civil society and partner organisations to promote older people’s rights in national legislation and policies. And we support civil society engagement with governments to push for a UN Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.

Find out more

Climate change

Older woman sitting in a shelter
At 67, Isabel has witnessed the challenges of water scarcity, shifting weather patterns, and diminishing land fertility in La Guajira, Colombia. © Jorge Panchoaga / Fairpicture / HelpAge International

Few better understand the impact of climate change than older people. They hold generations-old knowledge on issues like how to read the weather, or where safe water and higher ground can be found. Many have survived the endless cycles of droughts, floods, vicious summers and cruel winters that are the result of our ongoing climate catastrophe. Yet they are too often absent from the climate debate: their skills and know-how side-lined; their rich experience ignored. Working with network members and partners, we champion older people’s unique abilities and vast experience, putting their voices and experience central to the fight against climate change.

Find out more

Action for Humanity, a partner of HelpAge, delivering vital humanitarian aid in the wake of the Syrian earthquake. © Action for Humanity

Our values

Diagram showing our four values: We strive for significant and lasting impact. We are inclusive. We are passionate about learning. We work as committed partners.

Strategy 2030

Critical debates around #ShiftingThePower and the decolonisation of aid have sparked essential discussions about the role of INGOs. At HelpAge, we understand the importance of ensuring that all our interventions are truly locally-led: designed, led and implemented by national or local stakeholders. With this objective in mind, our 10-year Strategy 2030 places locally-led development at its heart.

To accomplish this goal, we are adopting a more agile approach, actively expanding our networks and partnerships and placing them front and centre. This means adapting our own role to one of three things:

We support network members and partners to deliver quality services and programming.
We convene a diverse range of stakeholders from different sectors and disciplines to foster national, regional and international collaboration.
We work with network members, partners and allies to develop new thinking matched with practical solutions to address global trends affecting older people.

These three roles form the foundations of our changing approach. They are underpinned by a process of reflection and transformation of our organisational systems and processes.

In 2022/23, this included:

  • Participation in localisation initiatives on re-imagining the non-profit sector – for example with the International Civil Society Centre, Stopping at Success, and Re-Imagining INGOs.
  • Development of Design Principles to guide our global initiatives and improve our strategic positioning. They relate to how we partner and collaborate with others, how we make use of and leverage our international reach and the global network, and how we seek to complement other change makers by bringing a distinct value-add to the table.
  • Continuous improvement to our planning and reporting systems, developing a streamlined organisational results framework called Digital MEAL System to curate all monitoring and evaluation data. This will allow the organisation to better capture, report and analyse our outcomes and impact.
  • Commitment to a strategic shift towards building an inclusive, globally diverse workforce. Thanks to our global working model, we currently have staff working remotely in all corners of the world, from Australia to Finland, and from Colombia to India and Thailand. We will strive to ensure true diversity in our staff and monitor their sense of inclusion and well-being.
  • Spotlight on diversity and inclusion:
  • In 2022, we expanded our diversity and inclusion working group by welcoming new members from across all regions.
  • Our January 2023 organisational pulse check was focused specifically on diversity and inclusion, and the results were very positive, with staff reporting high levels of belonging within their team.
  • We also developed and rolled out a comprehensive Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Policy g to guide our future direction as an organisation that truly reflects the diversity of the people we represent.

A high ranking for our commitment to achieving gender equality

This year, HelpAge ranked fourth out of a group of 73 not-for-profit organisations in the FAIR SHARE Index, which measures the number of women in leadership roles across the sector. 

This ranking reflects our commitment to achieving gender equity across the organisation, including in leadership roles. Currently, 60 per cent of HelpAge staff are women and 59 per cent of leadership positions
are occupied by women, of which 39 per cent are BIWOC (Black, Indigenous and Women of Colour).

The global network

The HelpAge global network is the cornerstone of all our efforts at HelpAge, and plays a pivotal role in all our initiatives. Collaborating with the network members through partnerships and support is the driving force behind our capacity to deliver programmes and activities. It also empowers us to champion the cause of older people through advocacy and campaigns.

The network expanded further last year, with 10 new members stepping forward to support our mission of promoting the well-being and inclusion of older people and creating a fairer and equal world for them. 

We were also pleased to welcome our first network members from Brazil, Costa Rica, and Guatemala into the global alliance, extending our reach to 93 countries around the world.

new members
in 2022/23
in 93
HelpAge has network members in the countries marked in red.

Our funders

The support of our funders is essential for our efforts in shaping a better world for older people. We extend our gratitude to each of them for their generosity, support, and dedication to our vision of a world where everyone can lead dignified, healthy and secure lives, whatever their age.

With special thanks to our supporting members: Age International, HelpAge Canada, HelpAge Deutschland, HelpAge Korea and HelpAge USA.

Our finances

Where our money came from

Pie chart showing by-country breakdown of income sources

Where we spent this money

Pie chart showing by-country breakdown of expenditure

How we spent this money

Pie chart showing expenditure breakdown by area of work
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