Over £8 million has already been donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal to help people affected by the devastating Ebola crisis in west Africa through web and phone donations and UK government support, the organisation said today.
Although the appeal was only officially launched on Thursday, the DEC said it had been “overwhelmed” by the generosity of the British public.
The UK Government is matching the first £5 million given by the public and their contribution makes up £4 million of the total £8 million raised so far.
Saleh Saeed, Chief Executive of the DEC, said:
“We have been overwhelmed by the extraordinary generosity of the UK public in response to our unprecedented appeal for the Ebola Crisis in west Africa.
“We are extremely grateful to the UK Government for the aid match funding which is a significant boost to the Appeal. The UK Government will match a further £1 million raised, so we encourage the UK public to donate as soon as possible to double the amount of their donation.”
“Our member agencies have already achieved so much– providing protective clothing, educating communities and supporting safe and dignified burials – but there is so much more to do.”
DEC member agencies are scaling up their aid efforts in West Africa where they have already helped over 2.5m people affected by the Ebola crisis. They are reaching some of the worst-affected and most remote areas of Sierra Leone and Liberia.
So far, almost 5,000 people have been killed by the virus and more than 13,000 have been infected. But experts say the real figures could be far higher due to under-reporting.
To make a donation to the DEC Ebola Crisis Appeal visit http://www.dec.org.uk, call the 24 hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque. You can also donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.
Stay up to date with developments on the Ebola crisis, the emergency response and the DEC’s fundraising efforts on twitter: http://twitter.com/decappeal or on Facebook via http://www.facebook.com/DisastersEmergencyCommittee
Notes to editors
- The DEC does not generally compare appeal totals as each disaster is different but for those wishing to make comparisons the equivalent ‘next day’ figures for the most recent DEC appeals were: Gaza Crisis Appeal £4.5m and Philippines Typhoon Appeal £13m.
- The DEC brings 13 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis: ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision; all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly.
- Donations can be made at any high street bank and at post office counters.
- To donate £5 by text send the word. The full £5 will go to the DEC Ebola Crisis Appeal. Donors must be 16 years or over and have the bill payer’s permission. Texts are free and donations will be added to the bill.
- Donations can be made at www.dec.org.uk or 0370 60 60 900
- DEC press office 020 7387 0200 or 07930 999 014 (out of hours)