The Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) coronavirus emergency appeal has raised £15m since it launched on 14 July, the charity has said.
The government is also doubling its match-funding commitment to the appeal. It had originally pledged £5m, now increasing to £10m, via the Department of International Development’s UK Aid Match programme.
The appeal aims to provide food, clean water and medical supplies to some of the most vulnerable areas in the world, where the already precarious living conditions are worsening dramatically because of the Covid-19 pandemic. These are Yemen, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, and the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
DEC is a coalition of 14 aid charities, including Oxfam and Save the Children. They already have a presence in these countries and are now fundraising together to scale up and coordinate their response.
Planned projects funded by the appeal include: Oxfam supplying clean water, handwashing facilities, hygiene kits and public health messaging to people in Yemen; Plan International installing water tanks and handwashing facilities at health centres and schools in Somalia; and World Vision supporting a dedicated Covid hospital in Syria, among others.
DEC has been fundraising for overseas emergencies since 1963. It has run 72 appeals and raised more than £1.5bn.
The UK government says it has now pledged a total £774m of UK aid for the Covid-19 response.
Saleh Saeed, chief executive of DEC, said: “We are very grateful to everyone who has supported the DEC Coronavirus Appeal so far; together we have raised £15m. As ever, people across the country have demonstrated their generosity and compassion. Every donation will give vulnerable families living in the world’s most fragile states the help they urgently need to face the silent threat of coronavirus.”
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, international development secretary, said: “The British people have been incredibly generous and compassionate in donating to this life-saving appeal. To double the impact of their kindness, the UK government will match a further £5m of donations pound-for-pound.
“Together our support is protecting millions of people in the developing world from coronavirus, including those escaping conflict. This will in turn help stop future waves of the disease.”