Charities thank British public for generosity towards Gaza appeal

Charities thank British public for generosity towards Gaza appeal

By staff writers
30 Jan 2009

The official broadcast of the Disasters Emergency Gaza Crisis Appeal on ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 earlier this week doubled the total money received overnight to more than £1 million.

The money is helping to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The DEC has expressed gratitude to the public for their generosity, but critics of BBC and Sky, who refused the appeal for political reasons, say that their participation could have upped the total even further.

The DEC says the money raised will help people struggling in Gaza without food, shelter and medical assistance as a result of conflict, and is urging people to continue to give.

Brendan Gormley, DEC chief executive, said: “We really do appreciate the support of the British public who have shown their generosity when confronted with scenes of a dire humanitarian emergency. Their donations will improve the lives of so many civilians caught up in a conflict that was not of their making."

“But there are many more people who need our help. I urge anyone who has not yet donated to give what they can afford," he added.

Gormley continued: “All the money raised will go directly to helping the innocent families in Gaza who have been left without basic everyday necessities that we take for granted such as food, shelter and healthcare.”

More than 1,300 Palestinians were killed in the conflict which began on December 27. About 100,000 Palestinians have been left homeless in Gaza with many families forced to shelter in severely damaged houses.

A million people in Gaza are now dependent on aid. More than 300,000 people still have no running water. Sewage is running in some residential streets in North Gaza. Water and sanitation services and facilities are on the brink of collapse in some areas.

Aid agency members of the DEC are working to provide aid to hundreds of thousands of people affected.

* CARE has distributed fresh food, medical supplies, heaters, blankets and plastic sheeting to hospitals, families and feeding centres in Gaza, reaching more than 160,000 people
* Islamic Relief has given food parcels, hygiene kits, blankets and medical aid to more than 200,000 people – many who have been displaced and others in hospital
* Save the Children have reached 44,000 people, delivering food (packages that are enough to feed a family of 7 for two weeks), water, baby kits - with thousands of nappies and hygiene kits.
* Oxfam are providing drinking water to 20,000 households per day and have provided 20,000 people with food. Distributions of hygiene kits for some 15,000-20,000 people will be begin next week.
* World Vision are providing food to 3,000 people and are preparing to distribute blankets, hygiene kits, food, candles to more than 100,000.

The DEC consists of: Action Aid, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, and World Vision.

DEC criteria to launch an appeal are: The disaster must be on such a scale and of such urgency as to call for swift International humanitarian assistance. The DEC agencies, or some of them, must be in a position to provide effective and swift humanitarian assistance at a scale to justify a national Appeal. There must be sufficient public awareness of, and sympathy for, the humanitarian situation so as to give reasonable grounds for concluding that a public Appeal would be successful.

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To donate visit the DEC website on www.dec.org.uk or call the DEC on 0370 60 60 900. The coalition says: "We know people are facing financially difficult times but even a small donation makes a difference. Even a small donation to the appeal will help get food, water, shelter, emergency and medical supplies to people who desperately need it."

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