Liberia

Liberia crisis appeal urgently needs more donations

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Aid agencies are finding evidence of acute food shortages and widespread disease in the countryside outside Liberia's capital city Monrovia. There are an estimated one million Liberians without clean water, food or shelter. Many fled their homes during the civil war, and have no means to support themselves.
The Disasters Emergency Committee launched the Liberia Crisis Appeal on behalf of 11 of the UK's leading aid agencies last week, and has so far raised an estimated =A32.5 million in generous donations from the public. These donations will help fund the rapid expansion of aid work in Liberia, including food distribution, family survival kits, clean water and medical care. But =A32.5 million still only represents =A32.50 per person in desperate need.

The departure of Charles Taylor and the signing of a peace agreement in Liberia are allowing aid agencies renewed access to the people who have suffered throughout 14 years of civil war. Six aid flights have already been sent to the country over the past two weeks, and more flights are being planned. Now is the time for the public to make donations if they really want to help the people in Liberia.

DEC Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said:

"We already knew about the appalling conditions in Liberia's capital Monrovia, but now agencies are discovering the full horror of the plight of people in the countryside. We are relying on the generosity of the public to help us meet the needs of an estimated one million people who are chronically malnourished, without clean water and lacking shelter to protect their families."

Donations to the Liberia Crisis Appeal can be made by calling 0870 60 60 900 or online at www.dec.org.uk Donations can also be made at high street banks and post offices.

Media Enquiries: 020 7387 0200 or mobile 07940 824 444

Notes to editors:

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.