Friday October 13, 2017

DEC member charities are calling for urgent funding to help reach more than a thousand children who are alone and at risk after fleeing violence in Myanmar and crossing into neighbouring Bangladesh. 

Save the Children has registered at least 1,213 children who are separated from their families or have lost the people closest to them. Most are already traumatised and the charities are warning that the added threat of trafficking or assault means bringing them to safety or reuniting them with their families is vital.

Emma Thompson, ActionAid ambassador, who visited Myanmar in 2011, said:

“Having visited Myanmar six years ago, the suffering of the people is devastating to witness. More than half of those fleeing Myanmar and arriving in Bangladesh are children. Many are frightened and alone, separated from their families in the panic to escape, and in desperate need of food and shelter. The DEC charities are there now, and with our support they can help so many more people. Please donate.”

It is mainly women and children who have fled violence in Myanmar. More than half of them, 300,000, are children.

Lisa Akero, Protection, Gender and Inclusion Delegate for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said:

“These are people with a strong sense of community, they support each other’s families and look after each other’s children, but it is obvious that the needs are huge and these communities need support. If we cannot meet the need, there is a growing risk of violence, exploitation and continued trauma.”

DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said:

“Being separated from your children is a parent’s greatest fear, and over a thousand children are alone in the camps.

“We urgently need more funds so that DEC member charities can provide even more emergency relief and protection to children who desperately need to find their families. We hope the British public will continue to rise to the occasion and lend their generous support to this appeal.”

The Red Cross is helping to reconnect people with their families, and Save the Children is helping children with emotional care. 

The DEC emergency appeal is enabling its member charities to continue to help the estimated 536,000 men, women and children who have fled to Bangladesh.

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 £5 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.

ENDS

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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