The Premier League today backed the DEC East Africa crisis appeal as it announced a weekend of action at top flight football clubs across England.
Football supporters will be able to text a number displayed on advertising boards, in match-day programmes and on players’ training bibs to donate £5 to the appeal on the weekend of 26 November.
Their donations will go towards helping the 13 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia who are facing huger in the crisis which was brought on by severe drought.
At an event in Downing Street, George Osborne was joined by Patrick Vieira, Niall Quinn, Premier League Chief Executive Richard Scudamore and Clive Jones, chair of the DEC appeal.
Patrick Vieira and Niall Quinn took part in a football match with local primary school children in Downing Street before Richard Scudamore announced the partnership with DEC at a reception attended by the Chancellor.
Chancellor George Osborne said:
"The situation in the Horn of Africa remains desperate and it is great to see the Premier League getting involved to help.
"Football fans up and down the country will be able to make a difference and I wanted to do everything I could to support this idea."
Richard Scudamore said:
"The Premier League and its clubs have a long tradition of partnership with African football, and as a League we have many programmes that support grassroots sporting development in the continent and provide lasting legacy.
"We recognise that it is vital the DEC Unite Appeal for East Africa remains at the forefront of people’s minds. We hope our weekend of action will bring it to the attention of the millions of fans who follow the Premier League each week and that their donations can greatly extend the excellent work of the UK Government."
Clive Jones CBE, chair of DEC, said:
"With 'Tackle Famine' the UK is continuing the international leadership it has shown in responding to the crisis in East Africa.
"There is a huge amount of work still to be done so we are delighted to have the Premier League, leading clubs and so many footballing stars on our side."
So far the British public has donated £72 million to DEC through its East Africa Crisis Appeal.
The UK Government has fed 2.4 million people in the region since July 1 and is providing vaccinations to a further 2 million and clean water and sanitation to 1.2 million.
The Premier League has agreed to donate its match-day advertising space to the DEC appeal on Saturday 26, Sunday 27 and Monday 28 November.
This means the DEC appeal text number will appear in place of Premier League advertising on advertising boards, in match-day programmes and on players’ training bibs.
Clubs will also promote the appeal through their websites with links to DEC’s appeal page.
Notes to editors
- Main countries affected: Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.
- Causes are the worst drought in 60 years in parts of East Africa and conflict in Somalia.
- 13 million people in need of urgent aid including food, water and medical treatment.
- Many have lost everything and need help not just to survive but also to rebuild their lives.
- Famine has been declared in parts of Somalia where more than 750,000 people are at risk of dying by the end of the year.
- Rains, crop harvests and aid are now beginning to improve the situation in affected areas of Kenya and Ethiopia but many people still need more help and support to rebuild their lives.
- In Somalia the conflict has made it hard to reach many of those worst affected and so the situation there remains extremely grave.
- Rains, though very welcome, have also brought their own problems including waterborne diseases such as cholera.
- Even where people have seeds they will have to wait many months before harvesting any crops they are now planting.
UK Government response
- British aid is feeding more than 2.4 million people in the drought-stricken Horn of Africa, according to latest figures:
- 1.3 million people are being vaccinated against measles and 680,000 against polio
- 1.2 million people are being provided with clean water and sanitation equipment such as latrines
- Nearly 500,000 children and pregnant or breastfeeding mothers are receiving supplementary nutritional packages 400,000 doses of UK-funded anti-malarial medication are currently en route to Somalia and
- More than 200,000 people are being given seeds to plant when conditions have improved.
DEC member response
- DEC member charities have a long term presence in the region and a great deal of experience in responding to these kinds of crises. They have worked for many years to address the long term causes that lead to recurrent food crises.
- DEC member charities and their partners have provided aid to millions of people across the region, including south central Somalia where getting aid through has been hard.
- The aid delivered has included food, water, medical care, help with livestock and treatment for those who are severely malnourished.
- Details: http://www.dec.org.uk/appeals/east-africa-crisis-appeal/100-days-update
DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal
- The DEC launched its East Africa Crisis Appeal for Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia in July this year and has so far raised over £72m.
- This is the third highest total we have ever raised for an appeal and highest for any African appeal. We will continue to raise money until the end of the year.
- Funds from the appeal are already making a difference in East Africa and all funds will be spent within two years of the appeal launch. Members will continue their longer term work in East Africa with funding from other sources.
DEC and the Premier League: Tackle Famine
- We are extremely grateful to the Government, the Premier League and the clubs for organising the Tackle Famine fundraising event.
- At games on 26 November fans will be encouraged to Tackle Famine by texting FOOD to 70000 to donate £5.
- The DEC is a charity that brings together 14 leading UK aid agencies to raise funds when there is a major emergency in a poorer country with the support of the UK broadcasters.
- We are very grateful to the Government for helping us promote our appeals but we do not seek or receive government funding and the government is not involved in overseeing our appeals or the way funds are spent.
- The DEC member agencies are: ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision