Indonesia, Philippines & Vietnam Appeal hits £3m in one week but more urgently needed

13/10/2009

Despite the public’s generosity, aid agencies fear they will simply not have enough money to help hundreds of thousands of earthquake and typhoon survivors in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

More than five million people live in the affected areas and a large shortfall in funding for government responses suggests that the efforts of aid agencies will be more important than ever.

The UN announced yesterday (Monday) that they have received only $14.2m from governments in response for an appeal for $74m to help the Philippines respond to typhoon Ketsana, which hit Manila, and Parma which hit the north of the country.

Key work under threat in all the affected countries includes the current rush to replace basic household items and provide emergency food but also, over the coming months, help with replanting crops, replacing farm animals and repairing homes, schools and medical clinics.

DEC Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said:

“Despite the hardship and uncertainty facing many people in the UK the public response to the appeal has been very generous.

“Sadly however the needs have proved to be far greater than the initial death toll suggested. We hate to have to ask at a time like this but the simple fact is that we need more money to fund our collective response.

“We are dependent on donations from the public to ensure that people who have survived terrible disasters do not face further entirely avoidable suffering.”

As a result of the urgent need for funds the DEC took the unusual step of opening its phone lines and website for donations on Sunday 4 October ahead of the main broadcast appeals being made on Tuesday the 6th. A week on from the broadcast appeals the total raised has now reached £3m.

The high level of donations made even before the DEC appeals were broadcast on radio and television were largely a result of very strong interest from online donors referred by BBC websites and from social media.

The BBC sites have been the most important online referrer to the DEC donations page at www.dec.org.uk but Twitter – which the DEC only started using on 2 October – was the second most important and Facebook third.

Within hours of the disasters striking across the region DEC agencies began distributing aid to survivors in Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia. So far we have provided:

Indonesia

  • Emergency shelter for tens of thousands of people, plus deliveries of bedding, clothes, hygiene kits, baby products and kitchen kits
  • Food for thousands of people including rice, tinned fish, noodles and baby food.
  • Providing tankered water and emergency water treatment plants for thousands of people.
  • Medical care from first aid to surgery for hundreds of injured people
  • Reuniting families separated in the chaos, providing satellite phones to contact loved ones and safe spaces for children

Philippines

  • Help to people in evacuation centres hosting over 300,000 people, including clean water and toilets
  • Food for over 40,000 people
  • Emergency shelter for over 40,000 people
  • Household supplies including jerry cans, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, hygiene products, blankets to over 85,000 people
  • Emergency kits to affected children - including clothes and soap for over 35,000

Vietnam

  • Clean water and safe toilets for over 200,000 people, including one plant providing emergency purified water at rate of 5,000 litres an hour.
  • Food including noodles and rice provided for over 300,000 people
  • Household ideas including goods such as torches candles, matches and kerosene and mosquito nets for over 250,000 people
  • Plans to help people rebuild their lives by providing rice seeds and building materials to families, as well as repairing damaged schools and reinstating clean water supplies.

To make a donation to the DEC Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam appeal visit http://www.dec.org.uk, call 0370 60 60 900, or donate over the counter at any post office or high street bank.

Anyone wanting to stay up to date with developments in the affected countries, 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.

View the broadcast appeals on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/DECcharity

Notes to editors:

  • To make a postal donation make cheques payable to ‘DEC Disasters Appeal’ and mail to ‘DEC Disasters Appeal, PO Box 999, Birmingham, B99 9AA’.
  • Donations can be made at any high street bank, and at Post Offices by quoting Freepay 1422.
  • To make a postal donation make cheques payable to ‘DEC Disasters Appeal’ and mail to ‘DEC Disasters Appeal, PO Box 999, Birmingham, B99 9AA’.
  • Donations can be made at any high street bank, and at Post Offices by quoting Freepay 1422.
  • 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.