DEC Haiti Appeal: Donations hit £38m

21/01/2010

The Disasters Emergency Committee has announced that they have received £38 million in donations counted so far, less than a week since the first DEC broadcast appeal.

With vital aid now getting through in larger quantities, the public’s donations will help to save and rebuild lives across Haiti. DEC member agencies are making a real difference to those affected by the Earthquake by delivering food and water purification powder and by mobilising medical teams to help those in most need.

Brendan Gormley, Chief Executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee commented:

“Within less than a week since our broadcast appeal we have received a staggering £38 million in donations from the public. These generous donations are much appreciated and are vital to help save lives in Haiti.

“Although the problems of aid distribution are real, our member agencies are increasingly getting aid through to the people who need it most, even in the outlying areas.

“I would personally like to thank members of the public who have donated and encourage anyone else to donate what they can. Aid is starting to get through to hospitals and clinics and is quite simply saving lives across Haiti.”

Since our last update, DEC member agency work has included:

Christian Aid

Working with local partners Christian Aid has mobilised five medical teams of 8-10 doctors and nurses each in the areas close to the epicentre of Jacmel, Leogane, Petit Goave, Carrefour and Martissant, formely a very deprived slum near Port au Prince.

In addition, their partners on the ground have organised groups of young people with primary health care skills to do play therapy with children.  A plane load of aid has arrived in Port au Prince carrying four huge portable hospitals with medical equipment, large tents for schools, blankets and water supplies including water purification tablets and jerry cans for water storage.

CARE International UK

Over the last several days, CARE has brought clean water and water purification powder to some 14,000 people, and those efforts are scheduled to ramp up in the days to come. CARE also has distributed high-protein biscuits; 1,500 collapsible water containers; and 1,200 hygiene kits. And the organization has procured 5,000 mattresses that will be handed out in the coming days.

Concern Worldwide

Yesterday Concern did a water distribution from trucks at Place de la Paix, a site for approx 8,000 homeless in St Martin. The water is flowing from the trucks and people are waiting in an orderly line to fill their buckets. A Concern engineer is overseeing the construction of a platform for a 10,000 litre water tank to help continue the flow of water. 

Merlin

Merlin has set up a medical unit in Delmas 33, one of the most-affected areas, now that a full surgical team and 4.8 tonnes of medical equipment has arrived. The team includes two surgeons (one focusing on limb salvaging), an anesthetist, A&E consultants and nurses.

Other staff are conducting assessments in affected areas, such as Jacmel and Leogane. Plans are also in place to set up 14 clinics in Port-au-Prince and Léogâne and Petit-Goâve, both coastal towns to the west of Port-au-Prince.

As well as performing emergency surgery, staff are treating communicable diseases, such as diarrhoea and respiratory infections. In the more long-term they are planning to rebuild and equip health centres and train local health workers.

To make a donation to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk or call 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any post office or high street bank, or send a cheque made payable to ‘DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal’ to ‘PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA’.

Anyone wanting to stay up to date with developments in Haiti, 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. 

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Notes to editors:

  • To make a postal donation make cheques payable to ‘DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal’ and mail to ‘PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA
  • Donations can be made at any high street bank, or at a Post Office by quoting Freepay 1449.
  • Text “GIVE” to 70077 to give £5 to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal. £5 goes to the DEC. You pay £5 plus the standard network SMS rate.
  • 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 reasonable grounds for concluding that a public appeal would be successful, either because of evidence of existing public sympathy for the humanitarian situation or because there is a compelling case indicating the likelihood of significant public support should an appeal be launched.
  • The DEC is very grateful for the technical advice and strategic communications support provided by BT to help us respond immediately to international disasters like the recent earthquake in Haiti. We also welcome the fact that BT are encouraging the public and their own customers to support the appeal.