The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is launching an appeal on behalf of its 14 humanitarian aid agency members to help more than 10 million people in East Africa, parts of which are suffering their worst drought in over half a century. Large areas of Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia are affected by a severe drought, and the DEC appeal will also include South Sudan, which today becomes the world’s newest country.
The DEC that appeals will be broadcast on Friday by ITV/ITN, BBC, Sky, Channel 4 and Channel Five.
DEC Chief Executive Brendan Gormley said: “Slowly but surely, these people have seen their lives fall apart – crops, livestock and now their homes have been taken by the drought. They’ve been left with no alternative but to seek shelter and life-saving help elsewhere. We have a duty to help quickly before the situation spirals out of control.”
He added: “Many of these are a forgotten people, caught in the midst of conflict in Somalia and an ever-worsening environmental crisis.”
DEC agencies and their partners are already helping hundreds of thousands of people, but their work is being severely hampered by a lack of funding.
The UK has pledged £38 million to the World Food Programme of the UN, which will provide the food aid that many of the DEC’s members will be distributing. However, the UN’s own appeal is only 40% funded.
The DEC does not set fundraising targets for its appeals. Its member agencies are continuing to pursue funding from a range of potential sources to bridge the shortfall in East Africa.
The appeal was launched just a week after Plan UK joined the consortium as its fourteenth member.
Donations can be made online, by phone 0370 60 60 900, by texting ‘CRISIS’ to 70000 to donate £5, or by post at PO Box 999 London EC3A 3AA.
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