Aid agencies announce DEC Disasters Appeal Indonesia, Philippines & Vietnam

04/10/2009

Leading UK aid agencies have announced today (Sunday) that they will launch broadcast appeals on radio and TV Tuesday for public funds to help those affected by the earthquakes and typhoons that have struck in the last week.

At the beginning of the week Typhoon Ketsana hit the Philippines and it also affected the wider region including Vietnam. An earthquake registering 7.6 on the Richter scale struck western Sumatra on Wednesday followed by a significant aftershock the next day. In total more than 1000 people have died and more than four million have been affected.

Announcing the Appeal, Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said:

“The sheer number of natural disasters to hit the region in the last week is staggering and they have ripped apart the lives of millions of people in the affected areas.”

“DEC member agencies are already responding despite the appalling conditions on the ground but we urgently need the public’s help to fund their work.

“We recognise that these are difficult and uncertain times for many people in the UK too but we have no doubt that there will still be a strong desire to help.”

Work already underway by DEC members and their partners includes,

In the Philippines:

  • Red Cross volunteers have rescued over 400 people from rooftops and high walls following flooding and provided hot meals and blankets.
  • Save the Children have already distributed hundreds of emergency kits to affected children— which include essentials such as clothes and soap.
  • Age Concern and Help the Aged has worked with partners to deliver food and clothing.
  • CARE International are working with local partners to distribute food, safe water, temporary shelter and emergency supplies.

In Indonesia:

  • Hundreds of Indonesia Red Cross volunteers are involved in search and rescue operations, providing first aid, and meeting water and sanitation needs.
  • CARE International has been distributing emergency supplies such as water purification solutions and temporary shelter.

In Vietnam:

  • CARE International has been providing people, who have lost everything with basics such as noodles, rice and bottled water.

Because of the urgent nature of the need for funds, donation lines and the online giving website will open Sunday ahead of the main broadcast appeals.

Donations can be made by ringing 0370 60 60 900 or at www.dec.org.uk

Anyone wanting to stay up to date with developments in the affected countries, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts can follow the DEC on twitter at http://twitter.com/decappeal or become a fan of ‘Disasters-Emergency-Committee-DEC’ on facebook.

Details are not yet available of the celebrities who will front the broadcast appeals.

Notes to editors:

  • For details of work on the ground and interviews with aid workers before Monday morning when the full DEC media office will open please contact individual member agencies.
  • The DEC consists of: Action Aid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, World Vision.
  • The DEC criteria to launch an appeal are: The disaster must be on such a scale and of such urgency as to call for swift International humanitarian assistance.The DEC agencies, or some of them, must be in a position to provide effective and swift humanitarian assistance at a scale to justify a national Appeal. There must be sufficient public awareness of, and sympathy for, the humanitarian situation so as to give reasonable grounds for concluding that a public Appeal would be successful.