The Disasters Emergency Committee’s emergency fundraising appeal to support people fleeing Myanmar has now raised £7m since it launched a week ago.
The DEC, a collaborative group made up of 13 humanitarian charities including the British Red Cross, Save the Children and Islamic Relief, launched the emergency fundraising appeal for the 500,000 Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar on 3 October.
Donations are being doubled by the Department for International Development.
The £7m raised by the appeal is unusually low, compared to other recent appeals such as the Nepal earthquake appeal, which raised £19m on the first day. DEC members have previously said that the public are more ready to donate to appeals following natural disasters rather than those following human conflict.
The Rohingya people have been fleeing Myanmar’s Rakhine state for the neighbouring country of Bangladesh since 25 August, following a military offensive in the region. The United Nations have since described Myanmar’s military operations in the region as “ethnic cleansing”, accusations Myanmar has rejected.
DEC Chief Executive, Saleh Saeed, said on the launch of the emergency appeal: “People are arriving exhausted and traumatised into already overcrowded camps in Bangladesh. This is one of the fastest movements of people we have seen in recent decades.
“Families are living in makeshift shelters or by the side of the road with no clean drinking water, toilets or washing facilities. This humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in a country that is already reeling from the worst floods in decades.
“Without urgent support, the risk of disease and further misery is alarmingly high.”
The appeal includes direct TV adverts which will be shown across all major UK broadcasters, including the BBC, ITV and Channel 4.
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