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Disaster and Emergency Relief

This budget of £600,000 per year is reserved for Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Live Appeals. Appeals are made as and when necessary and focus on one specific disaster related situation.

The DEC is an umbrella group comprising 13 leading UK charities associated with providing clean water, humanitarian aid and medical care. DEC ensure that aid is delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible. Providing funding to DEC supported appeals will provide reassurance that their support is used for optimal impact when it is needed most. DEC appeal types include:

  • One-off Catastrophes - for example earthquakes, which have an immediate impact on local communities.
  • Slow-onset Humanitarian Crises - for example, severe food shortages caused by complex environmental and economic factors may develop gradually over months or even years. The situation may be affected by political factors.
  • Complex political Emergencies - For example the 2013 crisis in Syria, which often require a longer-term intervention for which funding may not be available. This kind of humanitarian crisis may not attract much, or any, media and public attention until the situation reaches a critical point.

The DEC determines eligibility for an appeal using a set of criteria. The main criteria are:

  • The disaster must be on such a scale and of such urgency as to call for swift international humanitarian assistance
  • The DEC member agencies, or some of them, must be in a position to provide effective and swift humanitarian assistance at a scale to justify a national appeal
  • There must be reasonable grounds for concluding that a public appeal would be successful, either because of evidence of existing public sympathy for the humanitarian situation or because there is a compelling case indicating the likelihood of significant public support should an appeal be launched

If the funding reserved for disaster and emergency relief is not expended in a particular year it will be re-directed at the end of the financial year by one large donation to a major international humanitarian crisis. Should this situation arise a shortlist of eligible causes will be submitted to the Cabinet Office Political Group by the External Relations Team for decision.

More information is available on the Disasters Emergency Committee official website. 

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