Media briefing: Cyclone Idai response and other DEC appeals – July 2019 


This media briefing contains an update about how the UK public's donations to the DEC's most recent appeal - for Cyclone Idai - are being used. Also included is a summary of the status of the DEC's four most recent appeals - Indonesia Tsunami, Rohingya, East Africa and Yemen.


Cyclone Idai: DEC appeal launched on 21 March 2019; £41 million raised to date (including £4m UK Aid Match); appeal remains open.  

In March, Cyclone Idai swept through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, killing over 900 people and leaving around 3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Just a few weeks later Cyclone Kenneth followed, further weakening the country's ability to respond to the destruction. 

For the past 4 months, the DEC’s 14 member charities have been working as part of a coordinated international response to deliver urgent aid such as food and shelter and to halt the spread of water-borne disease. Largely people’s immediate needs have been met, but resources are stretched, and aid workers are struggling to reach everyone affected and to restore livelihoods, education, health and sanitation infrastructure. The scale of the crisis has been overwhelming and more funding is needed; the UN announced in its Response Plan that $441 million is required for Mozambique, of which $282million is needed for the Cyclone Idai response - only approximately 40% of the total has been funded. 

Many people lost their homes and livelihoods; 185,000 people are now displaced across the three countries. In Mozambique, 80,500 people are living in 63 resettlement camps. Within these camps DEC member charities are working hard to construct and provide safe spaces for women, children and elderly people, construct latrines, provide shelter for those still living under plastic sheeting and provide livelihood support. 

One of the successes is the fight against cholera; following the cyclone there was a high risk of a cholera epidemic in Mozambique, with 6,768 cases and 8 deaths reported from 27 March, but no new cases have been reported since 30 May. The combination of an effective national vaccination programme and hygiene education mobilised by agencies including DEC member charities, has now reduced the risk of cholera to pre-cyclone levels.  

Communities and individuals affected have demonstrated huge resilience; in some areas such as Beira, towns are back up and running, albeit amidst the destruction of buildings and infrastructure. DEC funds are supporting local people to take on roles to help their communities in the recovery effort. A big focus now is to rebuild livelihoods to help make people independent, such as supplying tools and fast-growing seeds, distributing chickens and training people in chicken rearing.   

During the first six months of the response (March-Sept 2019), DEC funds plan to help:

  • 40,500 people to receive food assistance such as rice, cooking oil, maize flour and beans 
  • 11,700 families to receive cash to meet their immediate needs; 22,700 families to receive livelihoods restoration assistance such as seeds, tools and livestock. 
  • 9,700 families to receive emergency shelter materials or vouchers for such materials; 22,200 families to receive household essentials such as blankets, mattresses and kitchen utensils. 
  • 29 health facilities to be rehabilitated, with 20 of these receiving cholera treatment kits; 10,500 people to receive treatment for malnutrition; 1,700 latrines to be constructed and rehabilitated. 
  • 14 learning spaces to be set up for children to continue their education; 59 safe spaces for women, girls and children to be established; 320 aid workers to be trained in Humanitarian Inclusion Standards for older people and people with disabilities. 

DEC-funded activities will continue until March 2021. 


Indonesia Tsunami: DEC appeal launched on 4 October 2018; £29 million raised (including £2m UK Aid Match); appeal is now closed. 

On 28 September 2018, an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale rocked the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, triggering a terrifying tsunami that reached 18 feet in height and left a trail of destruction in its wake. More than 2,200 people are known to have died, more than 1,300 are still reported as missing and 4,400 were seriously injured. 

DEC member charities supported the relief effort through local partners and in coordination with Indonesian authorities. In the first six months of the response (October 2018 to March 2019), the following was provided with DEC funds: 

  • 10,300 families received unconditional cash support to meet their immediate needs; 3,200 families received cash for food or food assistance (including rice, noodles, eggs etc); 7,700 people were employed through cash-for-work activities to help recovery efforts and support their livelihoods 
  • 16,000 shelter kits were distributed containing tarpaulin, rope, sleeping mats; 5,600 families received household items (kitchen sets, clothing, blankets) or vouchers to purchase them  
  • 4,340 latrines were constructed or rehabilitated, and 44,800 people were provided with safe drinking water (water purification filters, aquatabs, water treatment stations etc)  
  • 63 health facilities were rehabilitated and provided with basic equipment; 850 older and disabled people were provided with mobility aids. 

The recovery effort continues and the full six-month report can be found here


Rohingya Crisis: DEC appeal launched on 4 October 2017; £30 million raised (including £5m UK Aid Match); appeal is closed. 

A report on how DEC funds were used in the first six months (October 2017 to March 2018) of the humanitarian response to help Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar can be found here. In the following 12 months (April 2018 to March 2019), DEC funds have provided: 

  • 12,600 families with four rounds of monthly vouchers to purchase fresh food, and 4,900 people with cooking facilities in community kitchens  
  • 9 health facilities with equipment and medical personnel, and 57,800 people with a newly constructed or maintained toilet  
  • 11,100 families with household essentials such as rice-husk fuel, clothing and blankets; and 78,000 people with solar lighting and household lights to keep them safe at night 
  • 9,400 people with employment through cash-for-work activities to help the recovery effort and support their livelihoods. 

DEC-funded activities will continue until September 2019. The Rohingya camp in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh – known officially as the Kutapalong-Balukhali settlements – is now considered the largest refugee settlement in the world and 1.2 million people remain in need of humanitarian assistance. 


East Africa Crisis: DEC appeal launched on 15 March 2017; £66 million raised (including £10m UK Aid Match); appeal is closed. 

By March 2017, prolonged drought and ongoing conflict had left 23 million people across Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and South Sudan in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment. The swift, high-impact response in which DEC member charities took part prevented widespread famine and brought life-saving assistance to millions of people across the region, including reaching 2.5 million people with some form of assistance in the first six months. 

DEC-funded work across the four countries in the first six months of the response (March to September 2017) included the provision of safe drinking water to 656,500 people, food parcels or vouchers to 331,700 people and treatment for acute malnutrition to 52,000 children. 

In the following 12 months (October 2017 to September 2018), DEC funds helped 1.2 million people including 15,300 children who received school meals so they could continue their education, 23,900 families who received seeds and tools to grow crops for food and income, and 38,500 people who took part in disaster risk reduction activities. 

DEC-funded programmes came to an end in September 2018 and the final report can be found here. The DEC is currently monitoring the situation in Somalia and other countries in the region after two consecutive poor rainy seasons have caused another drought and the deterioration of food security. 


Yemen Crisis: DEC appeal launched on 13 December 2016; £30 million raised (including £5m UK Aid Match); appeal is closed.  

Despite enormous operational, access and security challenges, DEC member charities succeeded in bringing life-saving assistance to thousands of Yemeni women, men and children, and reached 1.4 million people with some form of assistance in the first six months of the response.  

DEC-funded work in the following 18 months (July 2017 to December 2018) included: cholera treatment for 55,400 people, food parcels or vouchers for 72,300 people, better health facilities for 228,100 people and treatment for malnutrition for 11,200 children and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. 

The final Yemen report can be found here. The crisis in Yemen remains the largest in the world and humanitarian assistance will be needed for the foreseeable future. The DEC continues to monitor the situation closely.