An aid worker comforts a child

What we do

What we do

An aid worker comforts a child after the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 2018. Image: Hariandi Hafid/British Red Cross

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The DEC brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of humanitarian crisis overseas.  

In these times of crisis, people in life-and-death situations need our help and our mission is to save, protect and rebuild lives by working with the communities affected.

Pooling our resources to work as one, we are pivotal in co-ordinating the UK public’s response to overseas disasters. In collaboration with our Rapid Response Network of national media and corporate partners, we raise the alarm to the UK public by launching high-profile appeals and setting up easy ways to donate.

And we have immediate impact, getting help to people who need it, fast.

Since our launch in 1963

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appeals launched for major disasters overseas

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£2.2 billion

raised, saving countless lives and rebuilding communities

A ship washed ashore by a tsunami sits in the street

A boat washed ashore by the tsunami in Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 2018. Image: Hariandi Hafid/British Red Cross

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We use a set of criteria to decide when we launch an appeal in response to a disaster overseas and ensure we work effectively.

Arminda* uses a water pump restored with DEC funds after it was destroyed during Cyclone Idai in 2019. Image: Peter Caton/DEC

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The DEC only funds work by our 15 member charities, which deliver aid directly or through trusted partners to those in need. We use a formula to allocate funds between the charities according to their capacity to help.

A group of volunteers ready to raise money at a rugby match

Volunteers get ready to fundraise for the Indonesia Tsunami Appeal at a rugby match in Wales.

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There are many ways to donate, fundraise and get involved.

Aid workers from DEC charities meet in Yemen

DEC Chief Exec Saleh Saeed meets with DEC member charity staff in Yemen. Image: Ammar Bamatraf/DEC

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The DEC is made up of 15 member charities, a board of trustees, and a small secretariat which runs our appeals.