Wednesday October 4, 2017

Public figures have thrown their support behind the DEC Emergency Appeal to help the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing their homes in Myanmar.

Riz Ahmed, Anne-Marie Duff, Michael Palin, and Alison Steadman will front broadcast appeals, calling for support from the public. The appeals will be aired across all major UK broadcasters, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky.

Riz Ahmed explained why he had recorded an appeal:

The flight of the Rohingya people is a humanitarian crisis on a catastrophic scale — created with bewildering speed. Women and children have seen their homes burned, their relatives beaten and killed, and have been forced to flee for their lives. It’s easy to feel helpless when you see the sheer scale of the need, but we can and we must help. Donating can be as simple as sending a text – but it really will make a big difference.”

Michael Palin called on people to remember the plight of the hundreds of thousands of children who are affected by the crisis. He said:

“We have all seen the haunting images of people making long and difficult journeys on foot. The few clothes and items they carry are all they have left in the world. The journey is particularly tough on children who make up the majority of people fleeing violence in Myanmar. I’m proud to support DEC because member charities are making a real difference to children and families on the ground.” 

Alison Steadman urged people to give what they can to the appeal:

“Families are arriving in Bangladesh at an alarming rate. Many will have lost loved ones and left behind their homes and most treasured belongings. The generous British public can help make sure they are not forgotten and that their pain is not compounded by hunger and disease.”

Michelle Dockery, Oxfam GB Humanitarian Ambassador, has also given her support to the appeal and said:

“Because of recent flooding and a lack of toilets, there is a high risk of disease breaking out. Families desperately need clean water and sanitation or the situation will quickly get worse. The Disasters Emergency Committee and its 13 member charities need the compassion and support of the British public to respond to the overwhelming need in the region.” 

Joanne Froggatt, who visited Bangladesh with DEC member Plan International UK in 2014, said:

“I met people living in poverty in Bangladesh and so it pains me to see these families arriving with nothing. Children and expectant mothers are living on one meal a day with no access to clean water. Bangladesh has welcomed these families, just as they welcomed me, but the country desperately needs our help.”

Jerome Flynn, who visited Myanmar with DEC member World Vision earlier this year, said:

“People fleeing their homes in Myanmar have witnessed violence and loss. I saw for myself how violence can have long-lasting effects for the people of Myanmar and it breaks my heart to see this crisis playing out. Your support will help people to rebuild their lives as well as surviving from one day to the next.”

DEC member charities are already supporting some of the hundreds of thousands of uprooted people in Bangladesh with temporary shelters, clean water, food and other emergency aid. They are ready to scale up their humanitarian support, but they need more funding to reach the millions of people in urgent need.

DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said:

“The violence in Myanmar has caused a massive movement of people. They are living on patches of mud with little protection from the elements and tiny food rations. Our members have the expertise and staff to help, but they need your support to scale up and deliver the emergency aid people desperately need. Please don’t delay.”

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 will match 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.

END

Notes to editors:

  • Media enquiries please call 020 7387 0200 or 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.
  • Funds raised will go towards humanitarian assistance in Bangladesh.  A number of DEC charities are prepared to respond in affected areas of Myanmar if access opens up.
  • 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.

Shelter – R300 could provide emergency shelter for one family

Hygiene – R500 could provide ten families with hygiene kits

Food – R1000 could provide two families with food for a month

Water – R50 could provide a family with clean water for a week

  • 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.
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