The Disasters Emergency Committee has raised more than £3 million for people fleeing Myanmar within the first 24 hours of the appeal launching, following national broadcast appeals on BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV and Sky.
Of the amount raised so far, £1.2 million has been provided by UK aid, pledged by the British Government, to make public donations go further.
These funds will enable the UK’s leading aid agencies to continue to respond to the growing needs of people seeking refuge in Bangladesh after being uprooted by violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
Teams on the ground have been providing emergency relief – including food, water, shelter and medical care – to children, women and men in makeshift settlements.
For children like Sameera, 7, and her 7-month-old brother Omar, who feature in the DEC campaign materials, this support could be life-saving. Their parents described how, after fleeing Myanmar where their house was burnt down and neighbours killed, they are living in difficult conditions in a makeshift shelter. Both children are suffering from cold and fever. The family urgently need food, money and medical attention.
DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: “The UK public has, once again, demonstrated their generosity and compassion. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has donated.
“As donations continue to come in, these vital funds will help our agencies scale up their response to this crisis. In recent weeks, we have seen half a million people, mostly Rohingya women and children, flee into Bangladesh; one of the fastest movements of this many people in recent decades.
“For those who survived the journey across the border, the risk of disease and infection is alarmingly high. More than 100,000 emergency shelters and 25,000 toilets are urgently needed. Some 24,000 pregnant women require maternity care.
“DEC member charities are working urgently, but much more needs to be done. We would urge the public to continue giving, to help reduce the scale of the suffering.”
All the money raised will support the 13 DEC agencies to reach people fleeing Myanmar, as well as the overstretched communities hosting them.
To make a donation to the DEC Emergency Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 610, 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.
The UK Government will match pound for pound the first £3 million donated by the public to the DEC Emergency Appeal.
Stay up to date with developments in Bangladesh, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts with the DEC on twitter: www.twitter.com/decap