DEC: Haiti Appeal total rises to £15m

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The DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal total has increased to =A315 million as the public response to the disaster continues in strength.

Web and phone donations to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal over the past 24 hours have added a further =A33m to the =A312m already raised.

The amount includes online and phone donations only, with figures from corporate, postal, events, SMS and over-the-counter donations still to be counted.

DEC Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said:

"Once again people in the UK have proven that they will not sit idly by in the face of widespread suffering. The amount raised so far is a tremendous show of generosity and that money is already beginning to be put to work. We urgently need people to keep donating to ensure that the people of Haiti get all the aid they need.

"We know that aid is beginning to get through, with more supplies arriving today. The challenges on the ground are still large, but our member agencies are well placed to respond and get life saving material out to where it is needed most. For those who have not yet made a donation, there is still time and there is still need.

The DEC appeal was opened to donations on Wednesday and broadcast appeals across the UK media on Friday prompted a surge of =A310m in just 24 hours.

Most DEC members had been working in Haiti prior to the earthquake and have the local links and knowledge required to deliver prompt and effective assistance despite the devastation caused by the quake.

Examples of what donations will go to include:

* =A325 will supply a kit of household essentials.

* =A350 buys a food pack to feed a family for a fortnight.

* =A3100 provides temporary shelter for two families.

To make a donation to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk or call 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any post office or high street bank, or send a cheque made payable to 'DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal' to 'PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA'.

Anyone wanting to stay up to date with developments in Haiti, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts can follow the DEC on twitter at http://twitter.com/decappeal or become a fan of 'Disasters-Emergency-Committee-DEC' on Facebook.

Notes to editors:

* To make a postal donation make cheques payable to 'DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal' and mail to 'PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA.

* Donations can be made at any high street bank, or at a Post Office by quoting Freepay 1449.

* Text "GIVE" to 70077 to give =A35 to the DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal. =A35 goes to the DEC. You pay =A35 plus the standard network SMS rate.

* The DEC consists of: Action Aid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, World Vision.

* The DEC criteria to launch an appeal are: The disaster must be on such a scale and of such urgency as to call for swift International humanitarian assistance. The DEC agencies, or some of them, must be in a position to provide effective and swift humanitarian assistance at a scale to justify a national Appeal. There must be reasonable grounds for concluding that a public appeal would be successful, either because of evidence of existing public sympathy for the humanitarian situation or because there is a compelling case indicating the likelihood of significant public support should an appeal be launched.

* The DEC is very grateful for the technical advice and strategic communications support provided by BT to help us respond immediately to international disasters like the recent earthquake in Haiti. We also welcome the fact that BT are encouraging the public and their own customers to support the appeal.