The government has announced it will match fund up to £5m donated by the British public to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)’s fundraising appeal for Turkey and Syria, which opened yesterday.
Launched in response to earthquakes that occurred on Monday, which have killed more than 15,000 people, DEC’s appeal will fund 15 aid charities that are working in the affected regions.
DEC’s appeal, which aims to provide funding and support for people who have been injured or displaced by the disaster, follows a series of campaigns that were launched earlier in the week.
JustGiving told Civil Society News it has seen over £1.5m, including Gift Aid, donated through its platform to support Syria and Turkey so far.
Meanwhile, the Big Give has also launched a campaign linked to the DEC appeal whereby donations up to £600,000 will be match-funded by the Reed Foundation and other organisations. At the time of writing, its target has almost been reached.
Regulators warn of fake appeals
The Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator have urged donors to give safely and avoid bogus fundraising campaigns for the disaster.
They warned that criminals can often take advantage of public generosity during times of increased giving, by creating fake appeal websites, email appeals and more that often masquerade as genuine charity campaigns.
Helen Stephenson, chief executive of the Charity Commission, said: “Charities are once again stepping in to support those in need. I know that so many people across the UK will want to contribute and so I want to ensure every donation reaches its intended cause. This is why we are reminding everyone to give through the DEC or follow our simple steps, such as checking our online register, to make sure they’re giving safely.”
The regulators encourage donors to be vigilant and check a charity’s name on the charity register and look out for its Fundraising Regulator badge.
Charity Commission suggested donors should report illegitimate appeals to the police or Action Fraud over the phone or online.
Gerald Oppenheim, chief executive of the Fundraising Regulator, said: “The British public are generous and will be eager to support the relief work led by the DEC and its member charities where they can. Please carry out our recommended checks before donating money or goods to make sure you are giving to a genuine cause and that your generously donated money reaches its intended destination.”
Match funding amount lower than for other appeals
The government's match-funding for DEC appeals comes from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office's aid budget.
At £5m, the amount pledged for the Turkey-Syria appeal is average for DEC campaigns over the past decade and equals the amount offered to the Pakistan Floods appeal last year.