The Disasters Emergency Committee has launched an appeal overnight in response to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami which struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi late last week.
The DEC, which brings together 14 of the largest UK international aid charities in times of major humanitarian disaster, will begin broadcasting its appeal across all major UK television and radio broadcasters, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky, from today.
Last Friday the central Indonesian island of Sulawesi was struck by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake, which in turn triggered an 18 foot high tsunami. As of this morning the death toll from the twin disasters stands at over 1,300, a figure which is expected to rise.
More than 200,000 survivors are currently without access to running water, electricity, food and shelter. The DEC speculate that “up to 1.5 million people may have been affected” by the disaster in total.
The organisation described the destruction on the island as “the worst Indonesian disaster since the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami”.
The UK government has committed to match-fund "pound for pound" the first £2m donated to the appeal by the public. Penny Mordaunt, international development minister, announced on Tuesday that a UK transport aircraft full of supplies had also been deployed to the region.
Saleh Saeed, chief executive of DEC, said: “DEC member charities and their local partners are working closely with the Indonesian authorities to get aid to those who urgently need it, as well as helping survivors to cope with the trauma of the last few days.
“As the full scale of the disaster unfolds, they are providing emergency relief and are ready to help devastated communities to rebuild their lives.
“There is an urgent need for clean drinking water, food, medical care and shelter. Please give generously and let’s save the survivors.”
A spokeswoman for the DEC said an intial fundraising figure would be published either later today, or tomorrow.
On Monday, both Oxfam and Christian Aid – both DEC member organisations – announced separate responses to the situation in Indonesia.
Oxfam’s appeal is looking to raise £2.6m “to meet the immediate needs of people in Sulawesi”, while Christian Aid said it was “supporting the delivery of food, shelter, clean water, sanitation and other relief supplies”.