The Scottish public has donated over a quarter of a million pounds for people fleeing Myanmar within the first 24 hours of the appeal launch, following national broadcast appeals on BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, STV and Sky.
These funds will enable the UK’s leading aid agencies to continue to respond to the growing needs of people seeking refuge in Bangladesh after being uprooted by violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
Teams on the ground have been providing emergency relief – including food, water, shelter and medical care – to children, women and men in makeshift settlements.
For children like Sameera, 7 and her 7-month-old brother Omar, who feature in the DEC campaign materials, this support could be life-saving. Their parents described how, after fleeing Myanmar, where their house was burnt down and neighbours killed, they are now living in difficult conditions in a makeshift shelter. Both children are suffering from cold and fever. The family urgently need food, money and medical attention.
DEC Chair in Scotland, Marie Hughes said: “The Scottish public has, once again, shown how big hearted they are and we’re incredibly grateful to everyone who has donated so far.”
“This money is vital to help our agencies scale up their response to this crisis. In only a few weeks, we have seen half a million people, mostly Rohingya women and children, flee into Bangladesh; one of the fastest movements of this many people in recent decades.
“More than 100,000 emergency shelters and 25,000 toilets are urgently needed: some 24,000 pregnant women require maternity care. DEC member charities are working urgently, but much more needs to be done. For those who survived the journey across the border, the risk of disease and infection is alarmingly high. After all they’ve been through we’re asking people across Scotland to take just one step to help by making a donation.”
The Scotland figure is part of an overall total of more than £3 million given by the UK public by text, phone and online, which includes £1.2 million from the UK Government, who is matching the first £3m of donations pound for pound through its Aid Match Fund.
All the money raised will support the 13 DEC agencies to reach people fleeing Myanmar, as well as the overstretched communities hosting them.
To make a donation to the DEC Emergency Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 610, 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 SUPPORT to 70000.
The UK Government is matching pound for pound the first £3 million donated by the public to the DEC Emergency Appeal.
Stay up to date with developments in Bangladesh, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts with the DEC on twitter: www.twitter.com/decappeal or on Facebook via www.facebook.com/DisastersEmergencyCommittee.
Notes to editors:
- Media enquiries please call Huw Owen 020 7255 4279 or 07747 606299. 07930 999 014 (out of hours)
- The DEC brings 13 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis: ActionAid, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam, Plan International UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision; all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly.
- All DEC members will support the appeal and are supporting relief efforts on both sides of the border. DEC funds raised through this appeal will go towards humanitarian assistance in Bangladesh, and potentially in Myanmar if access to Rakhine state improves.
- To make a postal donation make cheques payable to ‘DEC Emergency Appeal’ and mail to ‘PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA’.
- Donations can be made at any high street bank and at Post Office counters.
- To donate £5 by text, send the word SUPPORT to 70000. The full £5 will go to the DEC Emergency Appeal. Donors must be 16 years or over and have bill payers’ permission. Texts are free and donations will be added to the bill.
- The Scottish Government has already donated £120,000 to the relief in Bangladesh from its newly established Humanitarian Emergency Fund, intended to provide life-saving aid wherever it is needed globally.
- UK Government match funding will go directly to the DEC and provide vital emergency supplies. This new funding will double the impact of the public’s own donations up to £3 million and ensure that charities working on the ground can reach even more people in need.