A girl wearing a mask peers round a tent
A girl wearing a mask beside her family's tent at a displacement camp in Idlib, Syria



Millions of lives are at stake as Covid-19 hits refugee
camps and fragile states like Yemen, Syria and South Sudan.
Help families fleeing conflict face a deadly new threat.

Bushra*, 9, and her family were forced to flee their home due to the war in Syria and now live in a camp for displaced people in Idlib. Image: Islamic Relief


Key facts

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places funds will be spent: Afghanistan, DR Congo, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and the Rohingya refugee camps

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24 million

people in need of humanitarian assistance in Yemen, the world's worst humanitarian crisis

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2.7 million

people displaced in northwest Syria, mostly living in crowded, makeshift camps

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21.8 million

people in DR Congo who can't access enough nutritious food

We’ve all had to make sacrifices during the coronavirus pandemic.

But as we struggle with the virus at home, people in fragile states and refugee camps need our help. If we act now, many lives can be saved. Find out more.

A composite image of newsreaders from around the world

There's one thing we can all understand

We need your help to: 

  • provide families with clean water, soap and information on keeping themselves safe 

  • provide frontline medical and aid workers with equipment and supplies to care for the vulnerable and sick

  • ensure families get enough food to prevent malnutrition, particularly amongst children

Save lives

Help protect the world's most vulnerable from Covid-19

Three girls stand outside their tent in a displacement camp in Yemen

Three sisters outside their shelter in a camp for displaced people near Aden, Yemen. Image: Alaa Aldwaley/DEC



One of the places currently of most concern is Yemen. The economic impact of the pandemic has driven up food prices and cut jobs in a country that was already home to the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Now it is on the brink of a devastating famine which could cost even more lives than the virus itself.

But as needs are increasing, funding from around the world is falling. "We must get enough funding so that we can respond and prevent a catastrophe from happening," says Yousra Semmanche from Save the Children.

An aerial view of a displacement camp in Syria showing rows and rows of tents

An aerial view of a camp for displaced people in Idlib, Syria.



This interactive report takes an in-depth look at each of our seven appeal locations, how the coronavirus pandemic will push them towards catastrophe in 2021, and what DEC charities are doing to try and avert it.

Aid workers unload equipment after the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia in 2018. Image: Hariandi Hafid/British Red Cross



When large-scale disasters hit countries without the capacity to respond, the DEC brings together 14 leading aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently. In these times of crisis, people in life-and-death situations need our help and our mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives through effective humanitarian response.

Pooling our resources to work as one, we are pivotal in co-ordinating the UK public's response to overseas disasters. In collaboration with our Rapid Response Network of national media and corporate partners, we raise the alarm to the UK public and set up easy ways for them to donate.

And we have immediate impact, getting aid to people who need it, fast.

Since our launch in 1963

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appeals launched for major disasters overseas

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£1.7 billion

raised, saving millions of lives and rebuilding communities