London, 19 February 2009 – Statement issued by The Disasters Emergency Committee in response to the Decision of the BBC Trust into the corporation’s decision not to broadcast the DEC Gaza crisis appeal in January 2009.
The DEC Trustees agreed in January that the criteria for launching an appeal for the victims of the conflict in Gaza had been met. We respect the BBC’s right to decide on whether to broadcast the appeal but we believe it would be unfortunate if the additional hurdle imposed in this specific situation set a precedent for future appeals.
Our member agencies on the ground are using the £5 million raised to help thousands of people and are continuing to deliver aid directly to those in dire need. We therefore restate our appeal for people to donate as generously as they can.
The three criteria agreed with broadcasters for launching DEC appeals – scale of need, ability of DEC members to deliver aid, and evidence of public support – have stood the test of time, as has our membership’s commitment to delivering, impartially, help to those in need.
Great humanitarian need is frequently the result of wars and civil strife, just as it is of earthquakes and floods. Over the last 45 years, the DEC, with the help and support of the BBC and other broadcasters, has made a significant contribution to the alleviation of suffering – a contribution that all the organisations involved can be proud of.