A charity appeal set up to help starving people in war-ravaged Yemen has raised £13 million since it was launched 10 days ago.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) said the public had donated millions of pounds to the Yemen Crisis Appeal, with another £4.5 million from the Government and donations from organisations such as Comic Relief and British Airways.
Two years of conflict have left Yemen – one of the world’s poorest countries – at breaking point, with half its 14 million population close to starvation and in dire need of help.
The DEC says a child in the country dies every 10 minutes from preventable diseases, with child malnutrition at an all-time high.
“Half of Yemen’s population is going hungry and children are starving to death as we speak,” said Chief executive Saleh Saeed. “With the funds raised, we will be able to provide emergency drip-feeding for those on the brink of starvation, nutritious peanut paste for malnourished children and cash vouchers for families unable to afford food and medicine.
“The crisis in Yemen may be far from over but, despite the conflict, DEC member charities are already reaching millions of people across the country with lifesaving aid and, with extra funds, they can reach many more.”
The campaign has helped charities such as CAFOD and Christian Aid to provide food, clean drinking water and supplies for clinics that are helping those in desperate need.
Actor Tom Hardy, who is backing the fundraising effort, said in a TV appeal: “I’m a father and I know that many of our children in the UK are looking forward to holidays and presents right now.
“Children in Yemen live in a far-off country many of us are not familiar with, but they are children nonetheless, children just like yours or mine, children who are in urgent need of the very basics to survive.
“So, at a time of year which is all about giving, a little from us here will make a massive difference there. Because it will save their lives.”
Fellow supporter Clare Balding also urged people to donate. “Half a million young children are starving. This is an unbearable situation,” she said.
To make a donation visit www.dec.org.uk, call 0370 60 60 900, visit any high street bank or Post Office, or donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.
Picture: A Yemeni man carrying his daughter looks at a building destroyed during fighting against Houthi fighters in the port city of Aden, Yemen in this file photo. (AP Photo/Ahmed Sameer, File).