DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal reaches £6 million
Generous members of the UK public have so far given a stunning £6 million to the East Africa Crisis Appeal, as hunger looms across the region.
The cash is being used by UK-based aid agencies working in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and the newly-formed Republic of South Sudan to deliver desperately-needed water, food and emergency healthcare.
Fundraising will continue as more than 10 million people face a fatal combination of unaffordable food prices and, in some parts, the worst drought in 60 years which has killed crops and livestock. Problems are compounded by conflict in many areas.
Chief Executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee Brendan Gormley said:
"The public is responding with overwhelming generosity to a massive ongoing crisis which is already beginning to claim lives – even though the problems are complex and not as obvious as an earthquake or flood.
"As this vital fundraising continues, together we can help families at risk to survive and start rebuilding their lives."
The DEC Appeal was launched on Friday with appeals from actor Jason Isaacs, actor and comedian Lenny Henry, broadcaster and journalist Kate Adie, and actress Fay Ripley.
More than 1,400 people a day, the majority of them children, continue to arrive in the Dadaab refugee camp in eastern Kenya near the border with Somalia. The Dadaab camp was already the world's largest refugee camp with a population of 350,000 – larger than the city of Cardiff.
With the next harvests in many areas expected to be poor there are serious concerns that the situation will spiral out of control unless action continues and increases. The recent announcement by armed group El Shabab in Somalia that they lifted restrictions on aid agencies potentially opens the door for a larger humanitarian response.
To make a donation to the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal visit http://www.dec.org.uk, call the 24 hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque. You can also donate £5 by texting the word CRISIS to 70000.
Anyone wanting to stay up to date with developments in East Africa, 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:
- The DEC member agencies are: ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision.
- To make a postal donation make cheques payable to 'DEC and mail to 'PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA'.
- Donations can be made at any high street bank.
- Donate at a Post Office by quoting Freepay 1562.
- To donate £5 by text send the word CRISIS to 70000. The full £5 will go to the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal. Donors must be 16 years or over and have bill payers permission. Texts are free and donations will be added to the bill.
Longer term work
In addition to our immediate response in the face of this current food crisis CARE International emphasises the need to tackle the long-term, underlying causes of poverty. We have been present in the region for over 25 years and are helping families to break the cycle of hunger and to adapt to the changing climate and recurring droughts.
Our ongoing work in the region includes:
- Maintenance, protection and development of water points and wells.
- Working with women in Mandera, Kenya to revive traditional food preservation techniques.
- Vaccination of animals to prevent diseases breaking out as they congregate at remaining water points.
- Helping families have more consistent sources of income by supporting them in diversifying their work.