The DEC's CEO meets aid workers from different member charities in Yemen
Aid workers hold a stand up meeting in Yemen

Who we are

Who we are

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

i X

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 and set up easy ways to donate.

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


The DEC was formed in 1963 to help aid agencies and other interested parties co-operate closely when providing relief after disasters overseas.

Over the last 60 years we have responded to earthquakes and tsunamis, hunger and drought, the impacts of conflict and climate change and reached millions of people in humanitarian need across more than 60 countries.

The UK public has given an astounding £2.4 billion to 77 national appeals, responding every time we have called upon them to help, showing great empathy and generosity.

Representatives of six of the 15 DEC member charities launch the Coronavirus Appeal in Scotland. Image: DEC

i X


The DEC is made up of 15 member charities who are experts in humanitarian aid and specialise in different areas of disaster response. They come together to speak in one voice and make fundraising more efficient when we launch an appeal.

Our members fund our running costs, and we give them back the money we raise in our appeals to carry out their vital work.

The DEC board and Chief Executive in November 2023.

i X


The DEC is governed by a board of trustees made up of the chief executives of our 15 member charities and up to six independent trustees. The board has ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of the DEC and ensuring that it remains true to its charitable purpose and objectives.

The staff of the DEC Secretariat

The staff of the DEC Secretariat in May 2022.

i X


A small secretariat of 23 permanent staff is responsible for launching appeals, the day-to-day running of the organisation and the planning and execution of its strategic objectives.

Led by the Chief Executive, the secretariat is split into four teams: Communications, Fundraising, Resources & Finance, and Programmes & Accountability.

British Airways cabin crew with DEC Cheif Executive Saleh Saeed

British Airways cabin crew Diane Lewis, Jane Lloyd-Mostyn and Julie Hick with DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed ahead of the March 2022 Concert for Ukraine. Image: Barney Guiton/DEC

i X


Our Rapid Response Network of national media and corporate partners helps us raise the alarm to the UK public. Our powerful partnerships help us reach more people and set up easy ways to donate at times of disaster overseas.

Doctors and nurses hold a baby outside a field hospital

Staff at the Red Cross field hospital hold a baby they helped to deliver in the Rohingya refugee camps, Bangladesh. Image: Paddy Dowling/DEC

i X

Emergency Appeals Alliance

The DEC is part of a global alliance of similar humanitarian coalitions called the Emergency Appeals Alliance (EAA).

DEC staff look at a computer


See job opportunities at the DEC secretariat and find out about volunteering in the UK and overseas.