Who we are
Who we are
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
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.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
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 in May 2022.
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 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
RAPID RESPONSE NETWORK
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.
Staff at the Red Cross field hospital hold a baby they helped to deliver in the Rohingya refugee camps, Bangladesh. Image: Paddy Dowling/DEC
Emergency Appeals Alliance
The DEC is part of a global alliance of similar humanitarian coalitions called the Emergency Appeals Alliance (EAA).
JOBS AND VOLUNTEERING
See job opportunities at the DEC secretariat and find out about volunteering in the UK and overseas.