SALEH SAEED, head of the UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), has welcomed the news that the DEC Appeal has reached £40 million.
The Appeal Fund was established to deal with a famine in East Africa, caused by natural factors such as drought but also by various local conflicts, which is affecting some 16 million people. The famine has already caused deaths in South Sudan and Somalia. It is causing serious problems in Kenya, where a state of emergency has been declared, and is beginning to affect Ethiopia. It is estimated that across the affected region, the lives of nearly one million children.
The UK’s Muslim community has been particularly visible, with DEC partner charity Islamic Relief organising collections at Mosques earlier this month. There was a particularly large turnout in Whitechapel.
Adil Riaz, London and South Fundraising Manager for Islamic Relief, said the public’s response to the mosque collections had been phenomenal. “Regardless of race, religion or gender, people have been incredibly supportive,” he said. “We’ve had many individuals come together of all backgrounds, of all faiths as well which is the most important thing. We’re all here for one message and one message only: to end the famine in East Africa.”
Islamic Relief’s Bashir Ibrahim said: “I was privileged enough to go out to Somaliland in January 2017. The devastation is real. People are dying and the urgency is now. In 2011, the Somalia famine caused the death of 260,000. Let us not repeat history again.”
The DEC’s Saleh Saeed said: “It’s been so inspiring to see how the British public has responded to this desperate need and to hear the passion and creativity they have put into fundraising. I cannot thank everyone enough for their support. Our 13 member charities are already on the ground delivering vital life-saving assistance to some of the worst affected people. We are now getting reports of how food aid is getting through. All the money raised by the DEC appeal will provide millions of people in desperate need with vital food, water and medical treatment. Every donation makes a huge difference, so if you haven’t had a chance to support please don’t delay, donate today.”
•For more information about Islamic Relief UK, go to:
•Donations can be made at www.dec.org.uk or by calling 0370 60 60 610. You can also donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.