Charities launch appeal over Ebola

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Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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A major appeal to help tackle the Ebola outbreak, described by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) as the most severe the world has ever seen, is launched today.

The DEC’s Ebola Crisis Appeal, for urgent funds to enable its 13-strong group of leading UK aid charities to step up their vital work, will be carried by all major UK broadcasters.

BBC appeals will be presented by actor Lenny Henry and commercial radio appeals will be fronted by Downton Abbey actress Joanne Froggatt.

The DEC has so far helped more than 2.5 million people affected by the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

The deadly virus has killed nearly 5,000 people and infected another 10,000. The World Health Organisation has warned there could be up to 10,000 new cases a week by December if it is not contained.

This is the first time in the DEC’s 50-year history that it has launched an appeal in response to a disease outbreak. It says the historic move reflects the scale of the situation.

DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said: “Aid workers are on the front line in the fight against Ebola. Some are facing great risk and local staff and partners are also being ostracised by their friends and families because people are so terrified.

“This is a price they are prepared to pay as they struggle to stop the spread of the disease and support those affected by the crisis.

“They need your help now, not only to support medical treatment but to bury the dead safely, care for Ebola orphans, help families disinfect their homes, provide food to people in quarantine and, critically, to teach communities how to keep themselves safe and stop the spread of Ebola.”

The West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have been hit the hardest by the outbreak which is devastating communities, health services and people’s ability to support themselves.

DEC members have already been involved in helping with the disposal of the bodies of victims of the disease, running treatment centres and providing food aid to affected families.

ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, Cafod, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision are all members of the DEC, which brings the UK’s major aid charities together in times of crisis.

All major UK broadcasters – including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky – are airing the DEC appeal. Other major DEC partners including ITN, BT, Post Office, British Bankers Association, Royal Mail, RadioCentre and NewsNow are also backing it.

:: To make a donation to the DEC Ebola Crisis Appeal visit www.dec.org.uk, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900 or donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.

A PO Box has been set up by Royal Mail to speed donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal. Donations can be sent by post to DEC Ebola Crisis Appeal, PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA.

Published: Thursday 30th October 2014 by The News Editor

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