Regulator urges donors to support registered charities to help those affected by Covid-19 around world

The Charity Commission is encouraging donors wanting to support the Covid-19 relief effort in countries suffering conflict to give safely to registered charities.

This follows the launch of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)’s Coronavirus Appeal. The DEC brings together 14 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis. They are all registered charities.

The Appeal, launched by the DEC on Tuesday 14 July 2020, is intended to help protect the poorest and most vulnerable communities living in refugee and internal displacement camps in Yemen and Syria in the Middle East; Somalia, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Africa, as well as Afghanistan and the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh.

It is vital at this unprecedented time of need around the world that donations reach their intended cause. By supporting registered charities, including through the DEC, the public can be assured that their donations will be regulated in line with the charity law framework.

Helen Stephenson CBE, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission said:

As shown in recent months, the British public are generous at times of crisis, and we want to see all charitable contributions count. With many people already suffering around the world, I encourage people to follow our advice to ensure they give safely to genuine relief efforts. The Disasters Emergency Committee is well equipped to ensure that help reaches people in some of the world’s most fragile places at this critical time.

While most fundraising is genuine, the regulator warns that fraudsters and criminals may sometimes take advantage of public generosity at times of increased giving, using various methods such as fake appeal websites, email appeals that falsely use the name of genuine charities, or appeals from fake charities.

It therefore encourages people to ensure they support genuine relief efforts by following a few simple steps before giving:

  • check the charity’s name and registration number at gov.uk/checkcharity. Most charities with an annual income of £5,000 or more must be registered
  • make sure the charity is genuine before giving any financial information
  • be careful when responding to emails or clicking on links within them
  • contact or

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