Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) faith-based organisations continue to respond to the crisis in Yemen as two years of war has brought seven million people to the brink of starvation. CAFOD, Islamic Relief and Tearfund are calling on local churches, mosques and communities to support the DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal, which launched on Tuesday.
Supporters of faith organisations across the UK are being asked to organise collections, hold fundraising events and to pray for the war-torn country this weekend.
Money raised will help all DEC member charities responding to the crisis to reach many more people in dire need of lifesaving aid. DEC charities have already reached millions in Yemen, including Islamic Relief, which has provided more than 3.2 million people with food, medical supplies and shelter since the beginning of the conflict.
Imran Madden, UK Director of Islamic Relief, said:
“The number of people in need is staggering. Over 14 million people do not have enough to eat, and children are dying from malnutrition. Islamic Relief has worked in Yemen since the start of the conflict. With access to 18 of the 22 governorates in the country, our team is working tirelessly to ensure that supplies are reaching those who need them most.
“We have been fundraising for Yemen for almost two years and in that time have had tremendous support from the Muslim community within the UK. Now the DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal has launched, we need as many people as possible to donate what they can.”
Muslim volunteers are fundraising for the DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal in towns and cities across England, including Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford, Derby, Gloucester, Leicester, Liverpool and London.
Christian charity Tearfund is asking congregations to donate Advent collections to the DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal, helping churches to hold fundraising events and calling on people to pray for Yemen.
The Rev. Virginia Luckett, Director of UK Churches at Tearfund, said:
“Yemen is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time, and we’re encouraging Christians and their churches across the UK to come together to support the appeal, both by prayer and giving.
“We heard just today that St Mary’s Church in Welwyn held their ‘Big Carol Sing’ for the Yemen Crisis Appeal, collecting more than £250. This is typical of our generous supporters, who are digging deep at this busy time of year. We welcome any support that people can offer.”
Tearfund is working through a local partner to provide hygiene and sanitation packs to prevent the spread of deadly diseases – such as cholera – and plans to train first aid responders in areas where medical facilities have been destroyed.
Catholic parishes will also be holding collections for the DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal as part of their Christmas services this weekend.
Catholic charity CAFOD is planning to support a partner organisation that provides medical supplies, through mobile clinics, food and clean water to those in need.
Jo Kitterick, Head of Parish and Volunteer Engagement at CAFOD, said:
“It is always amazing to see the unswerving compassion and generosity of the Catholic community across England and Wales – putting their faith into action, and sending out a powerful message of solidarity, dignity and humanity.
“Advent is a time of prayer and reflection, and we ask that the people of Yemen are kept in thoughts and prayers over the coming weeks.”
The DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal has raised more than £8 million so far, made up of £5 million given by the UK public by text, phone and online, and £3 million from the UK Government through AidMatch.
To make a donation visit www.dec.org.uk, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque. You can also donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.
What your money could buy:
- £25 could provide a month’s supply of life-saving peanut paste to a malnourished child
- £60 could provide clean drinking water for two families for a month
- £100 could provide supplies to a clinic treating severely malnourished children for a week
Stay up to date with developments in Yemen, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts with the DEC on twitter: www.twitter.com/decappeal; on Facebook via www.facebook.com/DisastersEmergencyCommittee or by following #YemenCrisis
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Notes to editors
- The DEC brings 13 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis: ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, Save the Children UK, Tearfund and World Vision UK; all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly. ActionAid UK, Plan International UK and World Vision UK are not responding in Yemen.
- To make a postal donation make cheques payable to ‘DEC’ and mail to ‘PO Box 999, London, EC3A 3AA’.
- To donate £5 by text, send the word SUPPORT to 70000. The full £5 will go to the DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal. Donors must be 16 years or over and have bill payer’s permission. Texts are free and donations will be added to the bill.