Bangladesh + 2 more

Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal raises £7 million for people fleeing Myanmar

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The Disasters Emergency Committee has raised more than £7 million for people fleeing Myanmar, as well as the overstretched communities hosting them in Bangladesh. The appeal launched on Wednesday (4 October).

Of the amount raised so far, £2.7 million has been provided by UK aid, pledged by the British Government, to make public donations go further.

The thirteen DEC member charities are already on the ground in Bangladesh providing temporary shelter, emergency healthcare, food, clean drinking water and sanitation services, such as latrines and hygiene kits.

DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: “The UK public has, once again, demonstrated their generosity and compassion. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has donated. These vital funds will help our member charities scale up their response to this crisis.

“More than 100,000 emergency shelters and 25,000 toilets are urgently needed. Some 24,000 pregnant women require maternity care. We would urge the public to continue giving.”

On Saturday trucks containing water tanks and other lifesaving equipment from the UK arrived in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, which has seen hundreds of thousands of people arriving from Myanmar in the last month.

The 15-tonne shipment, which was dispatched from Oxfam's Bicester warehouse in late September, included materials for building toilets and water distribution systems – equipment that will help prevent the outbreak of disease in the muddy camps where people are sheltering from the monsoon in makeshift huts. It was flown from Heathrow airport to Dhaka before being loaded onto trucks for the journey to Cox's Bazar.

Oxfam’s humanitarian coordinator in Bangladesh, Paolo Lubrano, said: “The conditions I have seen in overcrowded settlements are beyond miserable. Refugees are facing a toxic combination of wet weather, overcrowding and poor sanitation. Thanks to the generosity of the British public, this shipment will allow us to provide clean water and install toilets to keep people healthy.”

Bangladesh has been hit by severe flooding in recent weeks and is still in the grips of the monsoon. Newly arrived families are living on bare muddy ground without drainage or anywhere to wash. In such circumstances, the outbreak of dangerous diseases like Cholera is almost inevitable.

To make a donation to the DEC Emergency Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 610, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque. You can also donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.

The UK Government will match pound for pound the first £3 million donated by the public to the DEC Emergency Appeal.

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

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Notes to editors:

  • Media enquiries please call 020 7387 0200 or 07930 999 014 (out of hours)

  • The DEC brings 13 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis: ActionAid, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam, Plan International UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision; all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly.

  • Funds raised will go towards humanitarian assistance in Bangladesh. A number of DEC charities are prepared to respond in affected areas of Myanmar if access opens up.

  • To make a postal donation make cheques payable to ‘DEC Emergency 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 by text send the word SUPPORT to 70000. The full £5 will go to the DEC Emergency Appeal. Donors must be 16 years or over and have bill payers’ permission. Texts are free and donations will be added to the bill.

    o Shelter - £30 could provide emergency shelter for one family

    o Hygiene - £50 could provide ten families with hygiene kits

    o Food - £100 could provide two families with food for a month

    o Water - £5 could provide a family with clean water for a week

  • UK Government match funding will go directly to the DEC and provide vital emergency supplies. This new funding will double the impact of the public’s own donations up to £3 million and ensure that charities working on the ground can reach even more people in need.

  • For footage of the aid shipment go here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/x576ktcr641vtzo/Oxfam%20Aid.mov?dl=0

  • For images of the aid shipment go here: https://wordsandpictures.oxfam.org.uk/?c=34305&k=8acc40a2ca