Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) began its Afghanistan Crisis Appeal two days ago, which has raised £9.5m within just 24 hours of its launch.
The DEC is a charity made up of 15 UK aid charities. They specialise in humanitarian aid and disaster response, and its current appeal aims to help the 8 million people in Afghanistan who are at risk of famine this winter.
The appeal highlights how 95% of people in Afghanistan do not have enough to eat. DEC reported that over three million children under five are expected to suffer acute malnutrition by March 2022, with many at risk of dying because of it.
As well as this, people living in Afghanistan are experiencing freezing temperatures this winter without the equipment or shelter to protect them from the cold. The lowest temperature in Afghanistan this winter is predicted to be -12 degrees Celsius.
The crisis was catalysed when the Taliban took over the country after the US ended its 20-year presence in it this August.
'World's worst humanitarian crisis'
David Beasley, the head of the UN World Food Programme, said that Afghanistan is the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis” and DEC agree. The charity is urging the public to donate to the appeal to supply emergency food, healthcare facilities and winter kits to those living in Afghanistan.
DEC is also prioritising the provision of clean drinking water and aims to protect women and girls under patriarchal rule.
The British government has agreed to match the first £10m donated by the British public.
Presented by actor Gillian Anderson, a campaign video for the appeal broadcast on BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky on the evening of its launch.
Turn on @itv2 this evening at 5pm to see the DEC Afghanistan Crisis Appeal film with Gillian Anderson.— DEC (@decappeal) December 16, 2021
People in Afghanistan are going hungry. We must act now. #AfghanistanCrisisAppealhttps://t.co/RehYFvzzAX pic.twitter.com/XDQQQMVbLo
‘Huge generosity' from those who have donated
DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said: “We are extremely grateful for the huge generosity of everyone in the UK who has donated. We also thank the UK government who will match pound for pound the first £10 million donated by the British people, as well as our broadcast partners for having aired the appeal, reaching millions of viewers and listeners.
“The situation in Afghanistan is beyond horrific – we can’t just sit back and watch. If we don’t act now, many lives could be lost as the harsh winter sets in, with children amongst those most vulnerable. DEC charities are already on the ground, scaling up their operations to reach the people most in need. We urge people to continue donating.”
Actor and supporter of the DEC Gillian Anderson commented: “Currently, women and girls in Afghanistan are going through pregnancy and labour in unimaginable conditions without a home or enough food to eat, and with the healthcare system falling apart. Hospitals are having to close due to a lack of supplies and medics. Newborn babies are already dying from malnutrition. DEC member charities are working on the ground in Afghanistan to help. Please donate what you can to give lifesaving help this winter.”
Who are DEC?
The 15 member charities which make up DEC are:
- Action Against Hunger
- Age International
- The British Red Cross
- Catholic Agency for Overseas Development
- CARE International
- Christian Aid
- International Rescue Committee
- Islamic Relief
- PLAN International
- Save the Children
- World Vision
You can donate to the appeal here.