** Spokespeople, recent photos and footage are available **
Leading UK aid agencies today [Wednesday 15 March] announced a joint fundraising appeal to help millions of people facing hunger in East Africa.
More than 16 million people in the region do not know where their next meal will come from and children are at risk of dying from starvation.
In South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, drought and conflict have left millions of people in immediate need of food, water and medical treatment.
The DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal is launching today and will be shown on all major UK Broadcasters including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky.
Money raised will support the efforts of DEC member charities to reach affected families and communities.
DEC Chief Executive, Saleh Saeed, said: “Hunger on a massive scale is looming across East Africa. More than 800,000 children under five are severely malnourished. Without urgent treatment, they are at risk of starving to death.
“We are hearing that families are so desperate for food that they are resorting to eating leaves to survive. This is something no family should have to endure.
“Unless we act now the number of deaths will drastically increase. Don’t delay – please donate.”
DEC member charities are already on the ground delivering life-saving aid, such as food, treatment for malnutrition and clean drinking water.
They are ready to scale-up their humanitarian support, but they need more funding to reach the millions of people in urgent need.
To make a donation to the DEC East Africa Crisis 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 £5 million donated by the public to the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal.
Stay up to date with developments in East Africa, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts with the DEC on twitter: www.twitter.com/decappeal, on Facebook via www.facebook.com/DisastersEmergencyCommittee or by searching #fightingfamine
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Notes to editors:
- Media enquiries please call 020 7387 0200 or 07930 999 014 (out of hours)
- The DEC brings 13 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis: ActionAid, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam, Plan International UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision; all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly.
- All DEC agencies will support the appeal and are responding in East Africa.
- To make a postal donation make cheques payable to ‘DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal’ and mail to ‘PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA’.
- Donations can be made at any high street bank and at Post Office counters.
- To donate £5 by text send the word SUPPORT to 70000. The full £5 will go to the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal. Donors must be 16 years or over and have bill payers’ permission. Texts are free and donations will be added to the bill.
- UK Government match funding will go directly to the DEC and provide vital emergency supplies. This new funding will double the impact of the public’s own donations and ensure that charities working on the ground can reach even more people in need.