Liberia

Liberia crisis appeal on target for first one million

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The Liberia Crisis Appeal, launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) yesterday, raised half a million in generous credit card donations from the public on its first night. This money will help 11 of the UK's leading aid agencies rapidly expand their aid work following Charles Taylor's departure.
Following a series of televised appeals fronted by actor Ross Kemp, the Appeal hotlines across the country were red hot with concerned members of the public making their donations. Mr Kemp helped volunteers staff the phones at the BT Tower in central London. 20,000 calls overnight, with an average donation of =A330, resulted in half a million pounds being raised.

DEC Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said:

"The appeal has raised half a million overnight, which means that we are on target for our first one million. However, one million pounds raised means one pound for each of the one million Liberians in desperate need, so more money is urgently needed. We know how generous the British people are and the suffering people of Liberia need that generosity now."

The Appeal is on target for its first million. Almost =A350,000 was raised via the DEC's website www.dec.org.uk last night, and donations by post and over the counter at post offices and banks are expected to quickly match this figure.

An estimated one million people are either trapped in appalling conditions in Liberia's cities or cut off from help in the countryside. Aid agencies that will be supported by funds from the appeal are already at work in Monrovia providing medical care, clean water, family survival kits and food.

Two aid planes destined for the Liberian capital Monrovia left Manston Airport in Kent last night. Each flight cost between =A3150,000 and =A3200,000, so thanks to the public's generosity aid agencies could pay for the equivalent of two more flights. However, more money is urgently needed if British aid agencies are to expand their humanitarian response.

Donations can be made online at www.dec.org.uk, by calling 0870 60 60 900 or visiting any high street bank or post office.

Media Enquiries: 020 7387 0200 or mobile 07940 824 444

The DEC Liberia Crisis Appeal hotline 0870 60 60 900 is open 24 hours a day for the next two weeks at least.
DEC Chief Executive Brendan Gormley, and aid agency experts on Liberia (UK and Liberia based) are available for interview.

The DEC charities benefiting from the Liberia Crisis Appeal are: Actionaid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.

DEC Secretariat; 15 Warren Mews, London W1T 6AZ

T: 020 7387 0200
F: 020 7387 2050
E: press3@dec.org.uk
W: www.dec.org.uk
PLEASE HELP TODAY TO SAVE LIVES!
We can only meet the desperate needs of the people of Liberia with your support.
Please donate online at www.dec.org.uk

Aid agencies taking part in this appeal are: ActionAid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, Care International UK, Christian Aid, Concern, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, World Vision

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DEC Secretariat
15 Warren Mews
London W1T 6AZ

Tel: 020 7387 0200
Fax: 020 7387 2050
www.dec.org.uk

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