Donations from the UK public to the DEC appeal to help people suffering from severe food shortages in East Africa have topped a milestone £30m.
The worst drought in 60 years in parts of East Africa has devastated cattle and crops creating a humanitarian emergency, with problems expected to be compounded by a poor coming harvest. The situation is now so serious that famine has been declared in two regions of Somalia, with other areas expected to follow.
More than 10 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and the newly-formed Republic of South Sudan have been left in need of food, water and emergency healthcare.
Chief Executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee Brendan Gormley said:
"The UK public has been wonderfully generous since we announced our East Africa Crisis Appeal less than three weeks ago.
"Aid is getting through even in the toughest parts of Somalia but far more is needed. Our member agencies can save more lives if you will help. "
Rising food prices, even in cities and towns, across the region have added to the food crisis. Many families have been left unable to afford even one proper meal and with months to go before the next harvest in many areas.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee Somalia due to the drought and conflict and fears are growing that the crisis could escalate. The most vulnerable are dying of causes related to malnutrition where they live or on the long journeys they are making in search of food and safety.
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.
Stay up to date with developments in East Africa, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts with the DEC on twitter: http://twitter.com/decappeal or become a fan of 'Disasters-Emergency-Committee-DEC' on Facebook.
- The DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal will continue to accept funds until the end of 2011.
- Funds are spent by the DEC's member agencies and their partners on lifesaving assistance and, where funds allow, on helping people affected by the disaster to rebuild their lives.
- From Tuesday 26 July 2011 the DEC's member agencies will resume individual fundraising and publicity activities for East Africa and the DEC will refer most fundraising and media enquiries to them to deal with directly.
Notes to editors:
- To make a postal donation make cheques payable to 'DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal' 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.