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Scotland has donated £3 million to DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal

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There is a lack of safe drinking water and food is becoming increasingly scarce in East Africa

Scots have donated over £3 million to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) East Africa Crisis Appeal in less than a fortnight.

Prolonged drought and conflict has left 16 million people across East Africa on the brink of starvation and in urgent need of food, water and medical treatment.

The DEC, made up of 13 of the UK’s biggest aid charities, launched its appeal on 15 March.

The total donated across the whole of the UK stands at £36 million, with Wales having donated £1 million and £800,000 having come from Northern Ireland.

The DEC is calling for the public to donate cash so its members can help up to 20 million people throughout the region in South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, who are in immediate need of food, water and medical treatment due to the effects of drought and conflict, and are at risk of dying.

One of the biggest problems currently faced is a lack of a regular supply of safe drinking water.

Women and children are forced to walk for hours to fetch water which may not be safe and is putting them at risk of life threatening water borne diseases.

Food is also increasingly scarce. With failed crops and soaring food prices mothers are struggling to find food and feed their children.

Emaciated livestock are almost worthless. In northern Kenya, goats which previously sold for the equivalent of £54 are now worth just £4, whilst sheep have dropped from £39 to £4.

More than 800,000 children under five are severely malnourished. Without immediate treatment, they are at risk of starving to death.

Announcing the latest fundraising totals, DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed called for the public to keep donating.

He said: “The response has been phenomenal. I cannot thank the British public, trusts and companies enough for their generous support to the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal, which has now raised an incredible £36m.

“Our member charities are already on the ground providing life-saving assistance to some of the worst affected people. Your generosity is helping them step up their response, providing more food, water and medical care to millions of people across East Africa who are in dire need.

"Every donation makes a huge difference, so if you haven’t had a chance to support please don’t delay, donate today.”

To make a donation to the DEC East Africa Crisis Appeal visit:, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 610, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque. You can also donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.