India

UK Charities launch appeal for India earthquake horror

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As international aid teams rush to help survivors of the worst earthquake to hit India for half a century, some of the UK's best-known charities are launching a joint appeal for much-needed funds to help survivors of the disaster which killed an estimated 30,000 people.
The Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) India Earthquake launches its appeal on February 1.

"We know that the British public will respond - and respond quickly and generously," said Brendan Gormley, Chief Executive of the DEC. "As the death toll rises and the scale of the disaster becomes more apparent, funds are desperately needed for relief work. We must help in every way we can so that the people of Gujarat can rebuild their shattered lives."

DEC representatives in Gujarat report an urgent need for funds. Whole villages have disappeared and in Bhuj, the quake's epicentre, almost all buildings have been destroyed. Hospitals are in ruins and both doctors and medical supplies are urgently needed. Hundreds of thousands of people are sleeping in the open air with little access to clear water and adequate food supplies.

Donations to the appeal can be made by telephone on 0870 60 60 900, by post to: DEC India earthquake Appeal, PO Box 999, London EC3A 3AA or on-line at www.dec.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

1. The appeal will be launched at the British Telecom Tower, 60 Cleveland Street, London W1P 6EA on Thursday 1 February at 11 am.

2. The Disaster Emergency Committee is made up of the UK's leading international development and relief charities. The member agencies of the DEC are ActionAid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International, Christian Children's Fund (CCF), Children's Aid Direct, Christian Aid, Concern, Help the Aged, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.

3. The DEC ensures independent evaluation of how appeal money is spent.

For further information, contact the DEC Press Office 020 7580 6550, e-mail press1@dec.org.uk. More information about the launch can be found on www.dec.org.uk.