The DEC has published figures showing its Disasters Appeal for Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam has raised over £1 million within 24 hours of the first appeal being broadcast on Tuesday morning.
The result was boosted by the unusual decision to allow website and telephone donations from Sunday, before the broadcast appeals were made.
The donations have been especially welcome in the current economic climate and will help fund the responses of 13 major UK aid agencies in a region hit by three natural disasters last week.
TV presenter Myleene Klass, who presented the appeal on commercial television, said:
“Any donation to the Disaster Emergency Committee Appeal is an important one. Millions of people’s lives have been turned upside down by these terrible disasters in Indonesia, Vietnam and in the Philippines, where I have family.
Aid is now desperately needed for vital food, water and medical supplies to help the most vulnerable, including women, children and the elderly. Every family can understand the helplessness they must feel and in these difficult times any generosity is very much appreciated. You really can make a big difference to their survival.”
A gift of £25 pounds can pay for a life saving surgical kit or food for a family for one month. One hundred pounds will pay for emergency shelters for five homeless families.
The high level of donations even before the DEC appeals were broadcast on radio and television were largely a result of very strong interest from online donors referred by the BBC News website and from Twitter. The BBC broadcast was presented by Christine Bleakley from The One Show.
Brendan Gormley, Chief Executive of the DEC said:
“Once again, the generosity of the British public has been fantastic, especially considering the impact of the recession. This money will have a real effect on the ground and we need your continuing support to help even more individuals and families displaced, hurt or separated by these crises.”
The money raised through the DEC appeal goes straight to the member agencies, many of whom have a long history of working in the affected region. The new influx of donations will allow them to scale up their operations.
Aid workers found the narrow path to what used to be the village of Pulo Air in West Sumatra choked with crowds of weeping people fleeing the devastation.
Crouched under the palm-thatch eaves of his home as heavy rain started to fall a student named Indra said:
“It’s just gone. I cannot believe this. There used to be my school, now you cannot even see a single desk. My friends who I grew up with are gone.”
He could not meet the eyes of the aid worker to whom he was speaking.
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:
- Screen grabs of both Christine Bleakley and Myleen Klass making the appeals are available from the DEC media office.
- 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.