Keira Knightley, Jon Snow and Tamsin Greig take time out for the East Africa Crisis Appeal

24/03/2017

Keira Knightley, Jon Snow and Tamsin Greig have each stopped in their tracks to support the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) East Africa Crisis Appeal and demonstrate how even the slightest of delays result in massive loss of life. 16 million people across East Africa are on the brink of starvation and in urgent need of help.

Tamsin Greig and Jon Snow have filmed their own take on a dramatic pause, while Keira Knightley called on the British public not to delay in offering their support.

Earlier this week Golden-Globe winning actor Bill Nighy led the campaign with a video urging people to act fast, which confronted commuters on their journeys and delayed the start of videos on YouTube.

The British figures have thrown into sharp relief the contrast between the frustration of day to day hold ups and the huge impact waiting to help the people of East Africa will have.

Hunger is looming across the region on a huge scale, and the DEC has urged that if we don’t act now it will get much worse.

BAFTA nominated actress Keira Knightley, who visited South Sudan with Oxfam in 2014, said:

“When I visited South Sudan, I saw for myself how families are suffering. They’re not just pictures in the news, they’re people.

“Right now, millions of people across East Africa are at risk of starvation if we don’t act. That’s a delay that will actually cost lives. It already is. Don’t delay, donate.”

Leading UK aid charities announced a joint fundraising appeal on Wednesday 15 March to help millions of people across East Africa facing hunger. Aid is desperately needed to get to the worst-affected areas as soon as possible and people are already dying in South Sudan and Somalia.

The British public have so far generously donated £32 million however this is a crisis on an unprecedented scale and more funds are urgently needed.

Laurence Olivier Award-winning actor and Tearfund ambassador Tamsin Greig, said:

“I recently travelled abroad to see the fantastic work that DEC member charities do on the ground to get aid to those who really need it.

“I met women and children who have lost almost everything, in East Africa it is these groups who are suffering the most. 800,000 children under five are severely malnourished and without immediate treatment they are at risk of starvation. We cannot afford to delay.”

A host of public figures have so far thrown their backing behind the crisis appeal. Eddie Redmayne, Brenda Blethyn, Sir Mo Farah, Matt Baker and Louie Spence have all recorded appeals to urge the public to donate.

Meanwhile other public figures including Coldplay, David Beckham, Bear Grylls, Bonnie Wright, David Harewood, Eliza Doolittle, James Purefoy, JK Rowling, Kate Moss, Lauren Laverne, Louie Spence, Luke Evans, Michaela Coel, Niall Horan, Noma Dumezweni, Poppy Delevingne, Rankin, Rudimental, Samantha Morton, Simon Pegg, Stephen Mangan and Tanya Burr have rallied support on social media for the DEC’s 13 member charities.

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 DONATE to 70000. The Government will match your donation, pound-for-pound, up to £10 million.

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

-Ends-

Notes to editors

Video material is available for you to use here:

Keira Knightley: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HK1IqDcZTI&feature=youtu.be 

Jon Snow https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56VTWg_dN7g&feature=youtu.be

Tamsin Greig: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmycMTab9gQ&feature=youtu.be

Bill Nighy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woAe11TBLn8

  • Media enquiries please call 020 7255 4272 or 07930 999 014 (out of hours).
  • The public figures are not available for interview.
  • Bill Nighy is a Global Ambassador for DEC member charity Oxfam.
  • Tamsin Greig is an Ambassador for DEC member charity Tearfund.
  • 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
  • The countries included in the East Africa Crisis appeal are South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.
  • 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 DONATE 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.