Disasters Emergency Committee

The Disasters Emergency Committee is an umbrella group comprising fourteen UK charities. These charities are all associated with disaster related issues such as providing clean water, humanitarian aid and medical care.

The DEC was created in 1963. Chairman (as of 2011) is Clive Jones. DEC brings together a unique alliance of the UK's aid, corporate, public and broadcasting sectors to rally the nation's compassion, and ensure that funds raised go to DEC agencies best placed to deliver effective and timely relief to people most in need.

In the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, the committee provided 3000 telephone lines for people to give donations and ran television campaigns in order to obtain donations. It was instrumental in coordinating the efforts of the member charities so that all the areas affected received aid and that there was no duplication of effort in the services provided in any one area.

From 12 January 2010 to 31 July 2010, the DEC appealed for donations in support of humanitarian relief in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, raising a total of £107million.

In July 2011 DEC accepted free advertising in the final edition of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World newspaper as the paper was closed in the aftermath of the News International phone hacking scandal. According to the BBC and ITV, both listed on DEC's website as part of DEC's "Rapid Response Network", most other charitable organisations approached declined the offer of free space citing reputational concerns over association with the title. A spokeswoman for DEC said although it in no way condoned the "unconscionable" behaviour of some News of the World journalists and executives, there was a "humanitarian imperative" for it to maximise income to help those affected by the drought developing in the Horn of Africa.

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