UK Government doubles public donations to tackle coronavirus in vulnerable countries

The UK Government will match the first £5 million of donations from the British public to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Coronavirus Appeal, International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan announced today (Tuesday 14 July).

Money raised from the appeal will boost the work of 14 leading British charities, helping some of the world’s most vulnerable people deal with the pandemic, especially those living in refugee camps who have escaped from warzones.

Years of conflict have forced many families to flee from their homes in countries such as Syria, Yemen and South Sudan, leaving them more exposed to the virus in crowded camps. Millions of people around the world have little or no access to healthcare or sanitation and washing facilities, increasing the risk of coronavirus spreading.

The DEC will use donations from the British public and UK aid to tackle coronavirus in refugee camps and save lives in developing countries by:

  • providing frontline doctors and aid workers with equipment and supplies to care for the vulnerable and sick;
  • ensuring families get enough food to prevent malnutrition, particularly amongst children; and
  • giving families clean water and soap, as well as information about the dangers of the disease.

Today’s announcement takes the total amount of UK aid pledged to end the pandemic globally to £769 million. This new support will double the impact of the public’s own donations and ensure that charities working on the ground can reach even more people in need.

International Development Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

“We are matching generous donations from the British people to the emergency appeal pound for pound, meaning your money will go twice as far in helping to protect millions of the world’s most vulnerable people from the deadly effects of coronavirus.

“Clean water and healthcare in refugee camps are essential in containing coronavirus in the developing world – helping stop the spread of the pandemic and protecting the UK from further waves of infection.”


  • Donations can be made at or by calling 0370 60 60 900.
  • £30 could provide six displaced families with enough soap for a month, to keep themselves clean and safe.
  • £50 could provide essential hygiene kits to two displaced families.
  • £100 could provide enough basic PPE for one frontline health worker for four months.
  • Donations to the Coronavirus Appeal will be matched through the UK Aid Match scheme.
  • Through UK Aid Match, DFID gives the British public the opportunity to decide how the UK aid budget is spent and support people in desperate need by matching their donations pound-for-pound to £5 million.
  • The DEC brings together 14 leading UK aid agencies to raise money at times of humanitarian crisis in poorer countries. By working together we can raise more money to save lives and rebuild shattered communities.
  • Since the launch of the DEC in 1963, they have run 72 appeals and raised more than £1.5 billion.
  • The last appeal, launched by DEC on 21st March 2019, to raise funds for those affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe, raised £43 million, including £4 million in matched donations from the UK Government through UK Aid Match.
  • The DEC’s 14 member charities are: Action Against Hunger, ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide UK, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, Save the Children UK, Tearfund and World Vision UK.  

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