60 years
of the DEC

60 years
of the DEC

The Disasters Emergency Committee was formed in 1963 and has since reached millions of people in humanitarian need through our member charities, thanks to the generous support of the UK public.

Key facts

Financing

£2.4 billion

has been donated to the DEC by the UK public since 1963

Tsunami

77 appeals

have been launched for major overseas disasters in the last 60 years

60 Years of disaster Response

The UK public has given an astounding £2.4 billion to 77 national appeals, responding every time we have called upon them to help, showing great empathy and generosity. 

Together we have provided a lifeline to millions of people affected by some of the largest humanitarian crises, including the famine in Ethiopia, the Boxing Day tsunami, the conflict in Ukraine and most recently the Turkey-Syria earthquake.

60 years in 60 seconds

Watch 60 years of the Disasters Emergency Committee on YouTube.

Timeline of events and DEC appeals

Over the last 60 years we have responded to earthquakes and tsunamis, hunger and drought, the impacts of conflict and climate change and reached millions of people in humanitarian need across more than 60 countries.

The DEC is formed

18 December 1963

The Disasters Emergency Committee is formed following a cyclone in Sri Lanka in 1963, to help relief agencies, government departments and other interested parties co-operate closely when providing relief after overseas disasters.

Earthquake in Turkey

August 1966

The first emergency appeal was launched by the DEC in response to a devastating earthquake in Varto, Turkey which killed 2,300 people.
Amount raised:
£560,000

1967 - 1968

November 1968

WAR VICTIMS IN NIGERIA APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched in response to war in Nigeria which led to millions of displaced people dying from hunger and disease.
Amount raised:
£240,000
September 1968

EARTHQUAKE IN IRAN APPEAL

Amount raised:
£210,000
February 1968

WAR IN VIETNAM APPEAL

The DEC launched an appeal in February 1968 in response to the escalating crisis in Vietnam.
Amount raised:
£360,000
June 1967

CONFLICT IN THE MIDDLE EAST APPEAL

The DEC launched an emergency appeal after the 1967 war displaced over 300,000 people across the region.
Amount raised:
£160,000

1969 - 1970

June 1970

FLOODS IN ROMANIA APPEAL

Amount raised:
£110,000
March 1970

EARTHQUAKE IN TURKEY APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after an earthquake destroyed at least 33 towns and killed over 1,000 people.
Amount raised:
£370,000
November 1969

EARTHQUAKE IN YUGOSLAVIA APPEAL

A DEC appeal was called after an earthquake left 65,000 people homeless and caused widespread destruction.
Amount raised:
£60,000
October 1969

FLOODS IN ALGERIA AND TUNISIA APPEAL

Amount raised:
£90,000

1970 - 1972

December 1972

EARTHQUAKE IN NICARAGUA APPEAL

Amount raised:
£340,000
June 1971

REFUGEES IN INDIA & PAKISTAN APPEAL

Amount raised:
£1.4 million
November 1970

CYCLONE IN EAST PAKISTAN APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after a devastating tropical cyclone killed up to 500,000 people.
Amount raised:
£1.4 million
June 1970

EARTHQUAKE IN PERU APPEAL

The DEC appeal was launched after an earthquake caused an avalanche off Mount Huascaran, burying two towns. Thousands of people were killed and 500,000 people were left homeless.
Amount raised:
£230,000

1973 - 1979

September 1979

INDO-CHINA EMERGENCY APPEAL

Amount raised:
£560,000
February 1976

EARTHQUAKE IN GUATEMALA APPEAL

Amount raised:
£1.3 million
September 1974

HURRICANE IN HONDURAS APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after a hurricane killed thousands of people, destroyed food crops and caused enormous damage to towns and villages.
Amount raised:
£350,000
October 1973

DROUGHT IN ETHIOPIA AND THE SAHEL APPEAL

Amount raised:
£1.5 million

1979 - 1982

July 1982

LEBANON APPEAL

Amount raised:
£1 million
March 1982

CENTRAL AMERICA EMERGENCY APPEAL

Amount raised:
£430,000
June 1980

DROUGHT AND REFUGEES IN EAST AFRICA APPEAL

Amount raised:
£6.1 million
November 1979

CYCLONES IN INDIA APPEAL

Amount raised:
£870,000

1983 - 1984

June 1984

FAMINE IN AFRICA APPEAL

Amount raised:
£9.5 million
March 1983

ETHIOPIA FAMINE APPEAL

Amount raised:
£1.9 million

Ethiopia in Famine Fund

October 1984

The 1980s Ethiopia famine was one of the worst humanitarian crises of the 20th century, caused by factors including drought and conflict. The UN estimated one million deaths, with millions of people displaced and lacking the resources to rebuild their lives.
Amount raised:
£5.2 million
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1985 - 1988

August 1988

SUDAN EMERGENCY APPEAL

Amount raised:
£8.8 million
December 1987

ETHIOPIA FAMINE APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after devastating droughts threatened five million people with severe famine.
Amount raised:
£2.6 million
June 1987

EMERGENCY APPEAL FOR MOZAMBIQUE

Amount raised:
£2.4 million
May 1985

BANGLADESH CYCLONE APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after Bangladesh was hit by a tropical cyclone which killed thousands of people.
Amount raised:
£1.4 million

1988 - 1990

September 1990

GULF CRISIS APPEAL

Amount raised:
£3.4 million
December 1989

ETHIOPIA FAMINE APPEAL

Amount raised:
£10.2 million
September 1988

HURRICANE APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after a hurricane in the Caribbean killed thousands and left widespread destruction.
Amount raised:
£1 million
September 1988

BANGLADESH FLOODS

A DEC appeal was launched after widescale flooding killed 5,000 people and left millions without homes.
Amount raised:
£5.8 million

1991 - 1992

September 1992

AFRICA IN CRISIS APPEAL

Amount raised:
£17.3 million
June 1991

ACTION FOR AFRICA APPEAL

Amount raised:
£2.6 million
May 1991

CYCLONE IN BANGLADESH APPEAL

Amount raised:
£3.5 million
January 1991

CRISIS IN AFRICA APPEAL

Amount raised:
£7.9 million

1993 - 1994

March 1994

APPEAL FOR FORMER YUGOSLAVIA

Amount raised:
£2.6 million
October 1993

AFRICA ON A KNIFE EDGE APPEAL

Amount raised:
£2.5 million

Rwanda Emergency appeal 

May 1994

Rwanda suffered one of the worst genocides of the 20th century when Hutu extremists killed an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus, and forcing millions of Hutu to flee to Zaire (now DR Congo).

Aid agencies were present in Rwanda throughout the genocide and worked in Zaire during the aftermath.  DEC charity British Red Cross's international arm, ICRC, set up emergency medical and surgical care for survivors, a rehabilitation programme, and a special programme to help reunite thousands of children with their parents.
Amount raised:
£37 million

1998

November 1998

CENTRAL AMERICA HURRICANE APPEAL

Amount raised:
£18.5 million
September 1998

BANGLADESH FLOODS APPEAL

Amount raised:
£5.5 million
May 1998

SUDAN CRISIS APPEAL

Amount raised:
£10.5 million

KOSOVO CRISIS APPEAL

A CARE team distributes relief items in Kosovo.

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April 1999

As conflict between ethnic Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo escalated, NATO launched air strikes against Serbia. In response the Serbian government increased its ethnic cleansing of Kosovo Albanians, starting the largest and fastest movement of people in Europe since the Second World War.
Amount raised:
£53 million 
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1999 - 2002

January 2002

GOMA CRISIS APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after a volcanic eruption destroyed thousands of homes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country already deeply affected by poverty and conflict.
Amount raised:
£4.6 million
February 2001

INDIA EARTHQUAKE APPEAL

Amount raised:
£24 million
March 2000

MOZAMBIQUE FLOODS APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after torrential rains caused floods, leaving widespread destruction and thousands of people displaced.
Amount raised:
£30 million
November 1999

INDIA CYCLONE APPEAL

Amount raised:
£7 million

2002 - 2004

July 2004

SUDAN EMERGENCY APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after ongoing conflict and violence displaced over two million people in Darfur.
August 2003

LIBERIA CRISIS APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after civil war in Liberia left over one million people trapped in appalling conditions of poverty.
Amount raised:
£2.5 million
July 2002

SOUTHERN AFRICA CRISIS APPEAL

Amount raised:
£16 million

Boxing Day Tsunami Appeal 

December 2004

Described as the worst natural disaster in modern times, a massive earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, triggered a 500mph tidal wave which hit seven countries around the Indian Ocean. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed and millions of lives were shattered.
Amount raised:
£392 million  
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2005 - 2007

November 2007

BANGLADESH APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after Cyclone Sidr crossed from the northern Bay of Bengal triggering a tidal surge 15 feet high which swept inland and devastated 30 districts of Bangladesh.
Amount raised:
£9 million
May 2007

DARFUR & CHAD APPEAL

Amount raised:
£13.6 million
October 2005

ASIA QUAKE APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after an earthquake devastated areas of Kashmir, Pakistan and Northern India.
Amount raised:
£59 million
August 2005

NIGER CRISIS APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after a major food shortage was caused by drought and a locust invasion in West Africa.
Amount raised:
£32 million

2008 - 2009

January 2009

GAZA CRISIS APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after three weeks of heavy shelling and a blockade of Gaza created an overwhelming humanitarian need.
Amount raised:
£8.3 million
November 2008

CONGO (DR) CRISIS APPEAL

A DEC appeal was launched after an upsurge in hostilities between government forces and rebel groups led to a large-scale displacement of people in North Kivu (Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo).
Amount raised:
£10.5 million
May 2008

MYANMAR (BURMA) CYCLONE APPEAL

Amount raised:
£19.5 million

Haiti Earthquake Appeal

The after-effects of the earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

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January 2010

A catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, followed by 52 aftershocks - the worst to hit the country in 200 years. Around 220,000 people died, 500,000 people fled to the countryside and 1.5m people were displaced into temporary camps.
Amount raised:
£107 million 
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2010 - 2011

July 2011

East Africa crisis 

A DEC appeal was launched after the worst drought in 25 years left more than 13 million people across East Africa in urgent need of food, water and emergency healthcare.
Amount raised:
£79 million 
July 2010

Pakistan Floods Appeal

A DEC appeal was launched after unprecedented monsoon rains caused devastating floods across Pakistan.
Amount raised:
£71 million 

Philippines Typhoon Appeal

November 2013

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the fiercest typhoons ever to make landfall, ripped through the centre of the Philippines archipelago causing devastation.

More than 6,000 people were killed and four million people saw their homes destroyed or severely damaged.
Amount raised:
£96 million
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2013 - 2014

October 2014

Ebola Crisis Appeal

The DEC launched an appeal after an outbreak of Ebola spread from Guinea to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.
Amount raised:
£37 million
August 2014

Gaza Crisis Appeal

The DEC launched an appeal after hostilities in Gaza escalated over the summer of 2014. The conflict led to the deaths of 2,251 Palestinians and forced one in four Palestinians to flee their homes.
Amount raised:
£19 million
March 2013

Syria Crisis Appeal

The DEC launched an appeal after two years of civil war left nine million people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.
Amount raised:
£15 million

Nepal Earthquake Appeal 

People clear a road in Kathmandu in the wake of the devastating earthquake.

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April 2015

Two earthquakes struck Nepal in 2015 causing a total of 8,891 deaths and over 22,000 injuries. Hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed leading to the displacement of over 200,000 people.
Amount raised:
£87 million
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2016 - 2019

March 2019

Cyclone Idai Appeal

The DEC launched an appeal after a huge cyclone hit Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. At least 900 people were killed and around three million people were left in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
Amount raised:
£43 million
September 2018

Indonesian Tsunami Appeal

A DEC appeal was launched after a series of catastrophic earthquakes struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, triggering a tsunami which reached three meters in height. Tens of thousands of homes were destroyed and entire communities decimated. At least 4,340 people were killed in the disaster, and another 4,400 people were seriously injured.
Amount raised:
£29 million
August 2017

Rohingya Crisis Appeal

When violence broke out in Rakhine State, Myanmar, more than half a million people - mainly Rohingya women, children and older people - fled across the border into Bangladesh. The situation quickly spiralled into one of the world’s worst refugee emergencies.
Amount raised:
£30 million
December 2016

Yemen Crisis Appeal 

The DEC launched an emergency appeal after the civil war pushed Yemen to the brink, with 20 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
Amount raised:
£30 million

Coronavirus Appeal 

Bushra* wears a mask provided by DEC charity Islamic Relief.

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July 2020

The coronavirus pandemic was particularly devastating for many vulnerable communities around the world. The DEC launched an appeal to provide medical care, clean water and other aid in eight countries - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, DR Congo, India, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Amount raised:
£62 million
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Afghanistan Crisis Appeal 

Kareem, aged 42, receives humanitarian aid at a distribution in Herat.

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December 2021

In late 2021 the DEC launched the Afghanistan Crisis Appeal after drought, economic collapse and rising global food prices pushed millions to the brink of famine.
Amount raised:
£50 million
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Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

Viktoria, a cyclist volunteer delivers food to Larysa, an older resident of Kharkiv.

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March 2022

A week after conflict in Ukraine escalated the DEC launched an appeal to provide humanitarian aid to people in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. There was a huge outpouring of support from the UK public in what is one the DEC's largest ever appeals.
Amount raised:
£420 million 

September 2022

Pakistan Floods Appeal

The DEC launched an appeal after historic floods submerged huge areas of the country, leaving millions in need of humanitarian assistance.
Amount raised:
£48 million

Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal

Women hug near a collapsed building in Turkey after one loses her brother in the devastating earthquake in February 2023.

Women hug near a collapsed building in Turkey after one loses her brother in the devastating earthquake.

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February 2023

On 6 February, the first deadly earthquake struck without warning while people were sleeping. Around 300,000 buildings, including blocks of flats, hospitals and schools, were destroyed along with infrastructure such as water supplies.

DEC charities worked alongside locally led relief efforts to provide medical treatment, emergency cash, shelter, food and water.
Amount raised:
£150 million