Hurricane Irma

14/09/2017
Hurricane Irma has torn a devastating path through the Caribbean. The British Red Cross is assisting the regional relief effort and several other DEC member charities are responding to the impact of the hurricane in poorer Caribbean nations such as Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba, providing basic emergency supplies including food, drinking water and blankets. 
 
The criteria for the DEC to launch a UK national appeal have not been met. For more information on those DEC members with appeals to help people affected by Hurricane Irma, please visit:
 
Oxfam
 
The DEC understands that Hurricane Irma has wrought high levels of destruction across the Caribbean and in judging the situation we have carefully considered whether our members could efficiently scale up their operations on the worst affected islands. We have concluded they could not and that our criteria for collectively appealing to the UK public for additional funds are not met for the following reasons:
 
Criteria 1: The disaster must be on such a scale and of such urgency as to call for swift international humanitarian assistance.
 
The DEC was established with the aim of supporting its UK member charities in their task of alleviating acute human suffering amongst those least able to withstand the effects of a major overseas disaster.
 
The DEC therefore launches appeals when humanitarian emergencies hit the world’s poorest countries at such as scale and with such severity that states are no longer able to support their citizens.
 
In those instances – such as the Nepal Earthquake in 2015 and the current hunger crises in East African countries including South Sudan and Somalia – many millions of people are suffering and the governments of the affected countries have called for urgent international assistance.
 
In the case of Hurricane Irma, many of the islands that have been affected have links to the UK, France, the Netherlands and the US and those governments are responsible for providing the assistance needed. British Overseas Territories such as Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands have sought assistance directly from the UK, rather than making a general international call for assistance, and the UK government is in a position to respond to the scale of the disaster affecting the British Overseas Territories.
 
Criteria 2: The DEC member 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.
 
The DEC and its members have been closely monitoring poorer countries such as Haiti where some of them have active programmes but the current assessment is that the scale of the impact on livelihoods and long-term damage to infrastructure in those countries is not at a level which justifies all DEC members collectively appealing to the UK public for further funds. DEC members including CARE, Oxfam, Red Cross and World Vision are however responding in those countries using funds from other sources including their own individual appeals for the Hurricane Irma response.
 
DEC members do not have a presence in the British Overseas Territories such as Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands. One DEC member, the British Red Cross, is able to direct funds through the Red Cross national societies and their volunteers across the region.
 
Criteria 3: 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.
 
This criterion is met but the first two criteria for launching a DEC appeal are not currently met.
 
Updated 11September 2017

Hurricane Irma has torn a devastating path through the Caribbean and affected the lives of many thousands of people. The criteria for the DEC to launch a UK national appeal have however not been met. 

The DEC launches appeals when humanitarian emergencies hit the world’s poorest countries at such a scale and with such severity that states are no longer able to support their citizens. In the case of the Nepal earthquake in 2015, for instance, many millions of people were suffering and the government called for urgent international assistance. 

In the case of Hurricane Irma, many of the islands that have been affected are supported by wealthy nations such as the UK, France and the US and those governments are providing the assistance needed.

A further criterion for launching a DEC appeal is that some DEC members must already be established in the area and in a position to provide effective and swift humanitarian assistance at scale. 

The DEC and its members have been closely monitoring poorer islands such as Haiti, but the current assessment is that the scale of the long-term damage to infrastructure and livelihoods is not at the level which justifies DEC members collectively appealing to the UK public for funds. 

Several DEC members are already responding to the impact of Hurricane Irma in Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba providing basic emergency supplies, such as food, drinking water and blankets. 

The DEC understands that Hurricane Irma has wrought high levels of destruction across the Caribbean. We have carefully considered whether our members could efficiently and effectively scale up their operations on the worst affected islands and have concluded that we do not need to collectively appeal to the UK public for additional funds.

For more information on which DEC members are appealing for funds for those affected by Hurricane Irma, please visit:

7 September 2017

Hurricane Irma

The DEC is monitoring the path of Hurricane Irma and the devastating destruction it is causing. Our criteria for launching an appeal can be found here.

DEC members are ready to respond to the impact of Hurricane Irma in Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba. Several DEC members have teams ready to reach the worst affected areas immediately after Irma hits as well as pre-positioned stock and increased numbers of staff in the region to respond.

If you would like to donate to help those affected by Hurricane Irma, the following DEC members have appeals open: