The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has today announced that it will launch an appeal on Friday 8 August in the UK for people affected by the conflict in Gaza. (c) REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly
The DEC is an umbrella organisation, made of up leading British charities - including HelpAge International's sister organisation, Age International.
Hundreds of thousands have fled
The appeal is being launched after hundreds of thousands of people fled their homes with many needing not only shelter but food, water, household items and often medical care.
There are now 65,000 people in Gaza who have seen their homes severely damaged or destroyed. Although there is only a temporary truce, DEC member agencies are rapidly increasing the level of assistance they are providing.
Some agencies had worked through the fighting despite the considerable risks involved and others have responded when and where lulls in the fighting allow.
DEC members working on the ground
Aid delivered so far includes:
- Oxfam is delivering safe water to up to 175,000 people per day
- British Red Cross partners are supporting emergency medical services.
DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said:
“After four weeks of terrible fighting Gaza is on the edge. Over half a million people have been forced from their homes, and one and a half million people have no or very limited access to water or sanitation.
"Many people are living in terribly overcrowded UN shelters, but they still need food and basic household items which we take for granted. Many are in urgent need of medical care, but hospital supplies are almost finished.
“Even before the conflict began the people of Gaza were close to breaking point. Now we are seeing a humanitarian emergency affecting virtually every man, woman and child in Gaza.
"The DEC’s member agencies and their partners are on the ground but they need funds to meet the huge needs. They are relying on the generosity of the British people to make a difference in Gaza.”
What HelpAge is doing
Our staff members on the ground in Gaza are contacting older people’s committees to identify those with urgent needs, for example older people who are living alone or in urgent need of medical treatment.
We are planning to distribute cash for medical treatment and refer the most serious cases to hospitals.
We will also distribute existing stocks of hygiene and kitchen items and mobility aids and are procuring additional stock. We have recruited and are training volunteers who will distribute these items to older people in need.
These volunteers will also be providing psychosocial support and sending information through texts and radio programmes on how older people can access services.
All major UK broadcasters will be carrying the DEC appeal including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky.
How you can help
In the UK:
If you are in the UK, please donate to our sister organisation, Age International:
- Go to the Age International website
- Call 0800 032 0699 on Mon–Fri 9am–5pm or donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque.
- Text URGENT to 70004 to donate GBP 5*
Outside the UK:
If you are outside the UK, you can donate directly to HelpAge International via our website.
What your donation could buy
- GBP 25 can buy an essential hygiene kit
- GBP 50 can buy food and medicines
- GBP 100 can buy a shelter kit for a homeless older person
*Age International, who is a DEC member, fundraises on behalf of HelpAge International in the UK. Text Costs £5.00 plus network charge. Age International receives 100% of your £5 donation. Obtain bill payers permission. Call 0800 032 0699 for more information. ‘Age International’ is a restricted fund of Age UK (charity no.1128267) set up to support the work of Age International (charity no.1128267-8)’