Leading UK aid agencies today [Wednesday 4 October] announced a joint fundraising appeal to help the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing their homes in Myanmar who are in urgent need of shelter, medical care, water and food.
In recent weeks, more than half a million people, mostly Rohingya women and children, have sought refuge in Bangladesh from violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
The thirteen DEC member charities have come together to call for funds to respond to the severe humanitarian needs of those affected. Money raised will support their efforts to reach people fleeing Myanmar as well as their host communities in Bangladesh.
More than half of all new arrivals are children and one in every ten are pregnant or lactating mothers. The vast majority are living in makeshift shelters made from bamboo and thin plastic.
The DEC Emergency Appeal is launching today and will be shown on all major UK broadcasters including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky.
DEC Chief Executive, Saleh Saeed, said: “People are arriving exhausted and traumatised into already overcrowded camps in Bangladesh. This is one of the fastest movements of people we have seen in recent decades.
“Families are living in makeshift shelters or by the side of the road with no clean drinking water, toilets or washing facilities. This humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in a country that is already reeling from the worst floods in decades.
“Without urgent support, the risk of disease and further misery is alarmingly high.”
DEC member charities are already on the ground in Bangladesh delivering emergency aid. They are ready to scale-up their humanitarian support but they need more funding to reach people in urgent need.
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.
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.
· Appeal image can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/a7zbdcsr6cgbjg3/AACEqroz84XyJJN3Xk_8RdWca?dl=0. Further photos, footage and spokespeople are available.