Donations are still flooding in from the UK public for the DEC Appeal to help people suffering from severe food shortages in East Africa, bringing the appeal total to £10 million.
Chief Executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee Brendan Gormley said: “The UK public have donated the equivalent of £1 for each of the 10 million people in need in East Africa. A British pound can provide an emergency food parcel to feed a family in Kenya or Somalia for a week. We want people to know their generosity is making a difference.”
Parts of East Africa have been hit by the worst drought in 60 years, wiping out cattle and crops. This has left at least 10 million people in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and the newly-formed Republic of South Sudan in desperate need of food, water and emergency healthcare.
The coming harvest is expected to be very poor in many areas because of the drought. Continued fundraising is vital in order to meet people’s needs and save lives.
The DEC is grateful for the support of the BBC, ITV, ITN and Radio Centre for creating and broadcasting appeal adverts, as well as all the TV and radio networks who are covering the appeal. Their support prompts the public interest and shows people the many easy ways to give. Brendan Gormley added: “The more money we raise the more lives we can save in the short term, and the more help we can give people to rebuild their lives in the long term. It’s vital that people keep giving.”
In Kenya, more than 1,400 people a day, eighty per cent of whom are women and children, continue to arrive in the Dadaab refugee camp near the border with Somalia. Many arrive after days or weeks of walking. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee Somalia due to the drought and conflict. DEC member agencies are hopeful the recent announcement by armed group al Shabab to lift restrictions on aid agencies could pave the way to providing greater assistance in country to many more families. Rising food prices across the region have also added to the food crisis, leaving many families unable to afford a daily meal.
The DEC East Africa Appeal has been presented by actor Jason Isaacs, actor and comedian Lenny Henry, broadcaster and journalist Kate Adie, and actress Fay Ripley.
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.