Urgent call from faith leaders to respond generously to the DEC Indonesia Tsunami Appeal


The nation's faith leaders, including the former Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Muslim Council of Britain, have urged Christians, Muslims and people of other faiths and none to support the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)’s Indonesia Tsunami Appeal to help those whose lives have been devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of 28 September.

200,000 survivors are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Many people have lost their loved ones, been badly injured and are now struggling without enough food and clean water.

The faith-based charities CAFOD, Christian Aid, Islamic Relief, Tearfund and World Vision UK, which are among the 14 leading UK aid agency members of the DEC, are calling on local churches, mosques and faith communities to support the appeal which launched on Thursday 4 October 2018.

Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, said:

"For the Muslim Council of Britain, supporting the Disasters Emergency Committee members to come to the aid of people left devastated by the tsunami in Indonesia is of paramount humanitarian importance. The needs on the ground for food, clean water, sanitation and health care are immense. And people will be traumatised for years to come. We hope they mobilise the generosity of fellow Britons at this hour of need. It is important that the organisations of all faiths and none are coming together at this crucial time to do what they can to alleviate the suffering.”

Dr Rowan Williams, Chair of Christian Aid and former Archbishop of Canterbury, said:

“The people of Indonesia have suffered a great tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to the survivors of this disaster – of all faiths and none – who are grieving for their loved ones and who have lost everything. It will take a long time to rebuild their communities and even longer to rebuild their lives.

“As people of faith, we are called to stand alongside those in pain and to help the poorest and most vulnerable of our sisters and brothers. I sincerely hope that the public supports the DEC’s Indonesia Tsunami Appeal, so that relief can reach those who so desperately need it at this time of great need.”

Bishop Declan Lang, Chair of the Department of International Affairs at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, said:

“Our faith and compassion calls us to support our brothers and sisters, who find themselves homeless and traumatised by the devastating impact of Indonesia’s tsunami and earthquake. The DEC appeal is a vital way for its members, including CAFOD, to reach hundreds of thousands of people who have lost everything. The emergency aid families receive is more than just aid, it is a sign of hope, that they have not been forgotten. I call on Catholics and all people who care for justice across England and Wales to remember the people of Sulawesi in their prayers and to support the DEC appeal.”

Charity supporters are being asked to fundraise, organise collections and to pray for the hundreds of thousands of people in need of food, shelter, clean water and medical care. The

money raised will help 13 DEC member charities responding to the crisis to reach more people in dire need with food, medical supplies and other essentials.

To make a donation to the DEC Indonesia Tsunami Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque. To donate £5 text SUPPORT to 70000. Texts cost £5 and the whole £5 goes to the DEC INDONESIA TSUNAMI APPEAL. You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payer's permission. For full terms and conditions and more information go to www.dec.org.uk

Stay up to date with developments in Indonesia, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts with the DEC on twitter: www.twitter.com/decappeal or on Facebook via www.facebook.com/DisastersEmergencyCommittee.


Additional quotes from faith agency DEC members:

Naser Haghamed, CEO of Islamic Relief, said:

“It’s devastating speaking to our country director in Palu and hearing about the suffering he is witnessing on a daily basis. A few days ago he told me about a man who was desperately searching for his loved ones who he knew were all dead under the rubble. He was desperate to give them a decent burial and for them not to be buried in a mass grave like so many others.

“But I am inspired by our staff and partners in Palu working around the clock to provide urgently needed food, shelter, clean water and medical supplies. I am also inspired by our fundraisers and volunteers in the UK who are doing everything they can to raise as much money as possible for the DEC Appeal to help provide solace to those who are suffering so much. As a faith-based charity, we are inspired by the Quranic quote that says, ‘whoever saves a soul - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely’ (Quran 5:32).

“Islamic Relief UK had a Live Appeal on Channel Islam on Friday to raise funds for the DEC Emergency Appeal and has invited 500 mosques across the UK to organise collections. Volunteers are also collecting money for the appeal at underground stations in London.”

Tim Costello, Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia (currently in Palu), said:

"The impact of this disaster is devastating. It’s not just houses washed away, it’s lives. The death toll is rising and the needs of children remain high. We can’t stop earthquakes or tsunamis, but we can stay, care and help rebuild.

“World Vision has distributed blankets and tarpaulins. We’re also organising to bring food items and hygiene kits to some of the worst-affected people in areas that are still difficult to access.

“World Vision is coordinating its response with the Indonesian government, to ensure aid gets to where it is needed most, and it is participating in government-led assessments.

“We have also begun distributing relief supplies in Palu and have set up child friendly spaces to provide psychosocial support to affected children, and are providing emergency infant feeding at its office in Palu.

“World Vision Indonesia is planning to support 80,000 people with emergency relief and recovery needs. This support will include water and sanitation, food, shelter, child protection and rebuilding livelihoods.”

Chris Bain, CEO of CAFOD, said:

“I have been horrified by the devastation of the tsunami in Indonesia. So many lives have been lost and affected by this disaster. There is so much to do.

“Our local colleagues in Indonesia are doing their utmost to provide the basics – clean drinking water, food and shelter – to enable people to survive over the coming days and weeks.

“We are already receiving donations from the Catholic community across England and Wales. This money will help provide emergency relief as well as begin the long process towards recovery.

“With the support of the British public and the DEC, our sister agencies on the ground will continue to work around the clock to ensure that families in some of the remotest areas are not beyond reach of vital emergency aid.”

Cressida Thompson, Deputy Head of Asia at Tearfund, said:

“Tearfund is supporting local church partners to reach the people who are most in need. I want to thank people in the UK for their overwhelming response to this disaster so far and ask them to continue to give and pray for the hundreds of thousands of people in need of assistance.

“Tearfund’s partners are providing temporary shelter and emergency kitchens for survivors and have deployed medical teams, including an orthopaedic surgeon and a midwife to the area.”

Notes to editors

At times of very great need, the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) brings together a unique alliance of the UK’s leading aid agencies and broadcasters to maximise fundraising and quickly deliver effective emergency relief. The DEC brings together 14 major UK aid agencies: Action Against Hunger, ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide UK, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, Save the Children UK, Tearfund and World Vision UK.

  • UK Government match funding will go directly to the DEC. This funding has doubled the value of the public’s own donations up to £2 million and will ensure that charities working on the ground can reach even more people in need.
  • Funds raised will go towards humanitarian assistance in Indonesia, Sulawesi Island.
  • To make a postal donation make cheques payable to ‘DEC Indonesia Tsunami 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 text SUPPORT to 70000. Texts cost £5 and the whole £5 goes to the DEC INDONESIA TSUNAMI APPEAL. You must be 16 or over and please ask the bill payer's permission. For full terms and conditions and more information go to www.dec.org.uk
    Shelter - £30 could provide emergency shelter for one family
    Food - £50 could provide a family with food for a month
    Hygiene - £100 could help build toilet and washing facilities for a family
  • Appeal image can be downloaded here. Further photos, footage and spokespeople are available.