DEC raises £7m for Myanmar appeal in first week

Written by Lauren Weymouth

The Disasters Emergency Committee has raised over £7 million for people fleeing Myanmar in just one week since it launched last Wednesday.

The emergency fundraising appeal was launched last week to help provide aid for the 500,000 people currently fleeing Myanmar. In recent weeks, more than half a million people, mostly Rohingya women and children, have sought refuge in Bangladesh from violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

Of the amount raised so far, £2.7 million has been provided by UK aid, which was pledged by the UK government, to help make public donations go further.

The DEC raised more than £3 million within the first 24 hours of the appeal launching, following national broadcast appeals on BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV and Sky.

All 13 DEC member charities, which include Islamic Relief, Save the Children and British red Cross, have already been focussing their work on the ground in Bangladesh, providing shelter, emergency healthcare, food, clean drinking water and sanitation services.

Last Saturday, just three days after the appeal was launched, trucks containing water tanks and other lifesaving equipment from the UK arrived in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, which has seen hundreds of thousands of people arriving from Myanmar in the last month.

“The UK public has, once again, demonstrated their generosity and compassion. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has donated. These vital funds will help our member charities scale up their response to this crisis,” DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said.

“More than 100,000 emergency shelters and 25,000 toilets are urgently needed. Some 24,000 pregnant women require maternity care. We would urge the public to continue giving.”

Despite huge success in such a short amount of time, the Charity Commission urged the public to donate safely to charities delivering humanitarian aid to help the people who have fled Myanmar.

The Commission stressed that although most fundraising is genuine, it has warned of fake appeal websites, email appeals that falsely use the name of genuine charities, or appeals from fake charities.

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