The freephone telephone number for credit card donations to the appeal is 0870 60 60 900.
The appeal is made on behalf of a twelve
British aid agencies working in the Balkans region,
where hundreds of thousands of refugees are currently displaced by the political crisis.
A spokesman for the appeal said: "We are grateful to the British public for their overwhelming generosity. The agencies have specialist teams on the ground and are meeting immediate needs. The most effective and efficient way of helping the refugees is with cash donations so that the agencies can carry on with their life-saving work."
Agencies who were already active on the
ground have increased their response to meet the
overwhelming level of need. Among the humanitarian assistance being provided by the British aid agencies:
- OXFAM At Brazda, a 245,000 litre and 17,000 litre tank are supplying good quality water to an estimated 23,000 refugees. In Stenkovic there are an estimated 4,500 refugees, and two 10,000 litre tanks are in the process of being set up, with water being tanked in over the hilly terrain. Oxfam is distributing hygiene kits, and public information within the camp community is also becoming a priority.
- CAFOD aid workers have continued their
work providing food and other essentials. In
Albania, the focus of their work is with refugees who have moved south away from the
border. A big part of the work involves supporting local communities who are hosting
refugee families. In Macedonia, CAFOD is supporting Caritas International, meeting the
needs of newly arrived refugees and host families with food, blankets and hygiene materials.
- Agencies such as Save the Children, Children's Aid Direct and Help the Aged are working to help meet the specific needs of the very young and the elderly caught up in the refugee crisis, both in terms of their short-term and longer-term needs.
- Christian Aid's local partner Diakonia
Agapes is helping run some of the camps being set
up by the UNHCR to shelter 157,000 people. In Macedonia, Christian Aid's local partner, the Macedonia Centre for International Cooperation hands out food. They have also mounted a public awareness campaign to encourage Macedonaian families to take in refugees, and opened a telephone hotline to inform refugees about the overall refugee situation and their rights.
For Press Enquiries please contact the DEC Press Office on 0171 580 6550.
Note to Editors:
The Disasters Emergency Committee has been overwhelmed by offers of clothing and blankets from members of the public. While the DEC members applaud the public initiative they wish to point out that the logistics involved - cleaning, sorting, packing and freighting - are time consuming and expensive. For the moment, cash donations will allow the DEC aid agencies to provide these goods to those in need faster and more cheaply.